Nicola Valley senior adventures, activities, and events enjoyed in and around the City of Merritt, British Columbia, Canada.

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

I like today’s weather forecast- snow; and tomorrow’s- more snow!

The choice

As one of our Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture, I decided to cook up some chicken and dumplings and use the next couple of snow days to work on one of my furniture projects. I keep trying to make time to renew a small, decorative shelf.  Want to follow along with your own project?

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

The original piece

Step1- wash the shelf

The first thing I did was wash the shelf. If there is any grease or dirt left on your project, you are only giving yourself potential problems by skipping this step. T.S.P. will clean dirt and grease off most things quickly and easily. Rinse well and allow the piece to dry. Do not soak wood items!

Although water raises wood grain, this is not a problem because we will sand the piece before priming it.

Step 2- fill cracks and holes

The next step is to fill any cracks, holes or imperfections. I chose a quick- drying wood filler and applied it with a metal spatula. Both are available at most home improvement stores around town.  Since I live close to Home Hardware, it was easy for me to get all my project supplies there.

I spoke to Clara Moyes at Home Hardware after getting really good help (as always) from some of the other staff. I asked her what makes Home Hardware different from their competition. Her reply? 

“It’s the customer service!”

She is so right! Great service all the time, every time.

If there are any deep holes, and this project had several, I partially fill them and allow the fill to dry. Then, I fill them the rest of the way. Trying to do this in one step only leaves the fill inside the hole still moist and subject to cracking. If you are a Merritt, B.C. senior repurposing furniture, you know it is worth the extra time it takes to do it right!

Step 3- sand it smooth

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

Filled and sanded

Now comes the messy bit. Please, everyone, use a dust mask for this step! I have a little electric sander that has a dust catching bag attached. Although I love it, it doesn’t get into all the tiny places. I still need to use a sanding block (and a dust mask).

As a Merritt, B.C. senior refinishing furniture, I have a nice collection of sanding blocks, both home made and store bought. I have used them for years. Whichever sander you choose, use sandpaper made for your project. Choose a 100 to 150- grit paper. Sand your project well. Dust it off with a dry rag if you are using a water- based primer, or with a tack rag if your primer is oil based.

Step 4- prime the project

So far, so good! Now, my fellow Merritt, B.C.  seniors repurposing furniture, it is time to prime the piece. In my case, there were quite a few knots in the wood. When you have this situation to deal with it is a good idea to prime the knots first and let them dry before then priming the whole piece. Use a stain killing primer such as “Kilz”. If there is any sap left in those knots, the extra layer of primer will prevent it from “bleeding” through the paint and spoiling your project.

Merritt, B.B., seniors repurposing furniture

Primed and ready to paint

 Step 5- paint

This is the rewarding part. By now you have chosen your colour.  I decided on paint (a soft mauve colour). Because the holes and knots in the wood required a lot of filling, trying to stain so much spotty fill would likely leave me with a hot mess! Later I will hand- paint some leaves and flowers on them (maybe).

The easiest way to paint a small project is to just spray it.  On a small project like mine, one can is all you will need. Spray paint gives a nice, smooth finish, covers well and dries quickly. In warm weather you can take your project outside to spray it. In winter, see if you can score an appliance-sized box and use it as a spray booth for small projects. Be sure to wear a mask and ventilate the room. Two or three light coats of spray paint and the job is done!

Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture

All done!

Step 6- protective coat

If you want your project to have extra protection, it is very easy to spay it with a clear varithane. Today’s varithanes come in several sheens so ask the paint experts to help you choose one that suits your project. Be sure to let everything dry well and give it a week, or better yet two, before subjecting it to heavy use.

Now enjoy being one of our Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture!

Conclusion

I am the proud owner of a refinished (and repurposed) shelf. It sure is great to be a Merritt, B.C. senior repurposing furniture! Also, this is an inexpensive way to get “new” stuff for yourself.

How did your project turn out? Send some photos and share it with us. Show off what you can do!

                            Merritt, B.C., seniors repurposing furniture!

Your senior blogger,

Diane

 

    

 

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Nicola Valley Community Garden Society

Gardening in the Nicola Valley

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Since 2012 when the Nicola Valley Community Garden Society came about by a group of friends who had a passion for gardening. They have wanted to continue to share that passion with their community.

Nicola Valley Community Garden has since become a place for members to share their expertise year after year with new gardeners and the community. Besides putting on different events and talks throughout the year, members also help each other with day-to-day tending when needed. 

 

gardening community garden bees growing food

Photo Credit – Nicola Valley Community Garden

 

Most importantly its a place where you can grow a garden with help from other members.  Whether you are new to gardening or an expert, young or old there is something for you. A few things they offer;

Plot Support

  • Compost sharing
  • Seed sharing
  • Joint Watering
  • Garden Mentoring
  • New to Gardening? They can help you get started.

Although its in a community setting the benefits can be astounding. Being in a community plot allows you to learn as you grow and it also allows you to help others along the way. It really is a win win situation.

First of all a garden is a place where you can slow down and take in the tranquility of your surroundings. Be sure to take a look at the little things while you’re gardening. Enjoy teaching your children how to grow their own nutritious food. Harvesting what you grow is so rewarding. Besides, I think there is nothing quite as soothing as digging in the dirt and nothing quite as rewarding as watching those little seeds come through the earth. As well as growing to become food on our plates.

growing food, community garden, garden plot, vegitables

Photo Credit – Nicola Valley Community Gardens

Few of the Past Functions

Every year the Nicola Valley Community Garden Society hosts a few exciting functions. Below are a few of the past functions held at the gardens.

Past Events

  • Salsa Fest. Although no longer run, this event was meant to be a community celebration. To share the wonderful produce available in the area or grown by the gardeners. It was a great opportunity to do a bit of fundraising. Fundraising helped ensure the organization and garden was sustainable into the future. The salsa competition was held on Aug 15, 2015. It was an exciting event that hosted 8 competitors and 3 judges. The attendees were also treated to a salsa dance lesson as well as delightful taste experiences. Wouldn’t be fun to have this event again?
  • Harvest Potluck. Again an older event, this was held on one day in the fall. Gardeners would all share their harvest with fellow members. What a great idea as not every one may want to grow the same things. Being able to share your bounty with others was a great benefit.
  • Yoga in the Garden. This event was held in the garden over the summer. Becoming a popular peaceful way to spend an hour. The Community Garden is looking at possibly reintroducing this. In order to do this they would need volunteers to help set it up and run it. If your interested contact the Nicola Valley Community Garden Society. 

And a couple more past talks

  • Compost and sq ft garden. There isn’t a lot known about this at the moment. They were talks they held once a month. Different subjects  discussed around composting and sq ft. gardening.
  • Earth ships by Sarah Molnar. Seems like a very interesting talk about combining your living space with your growing space and all the benefits you can rep by doing this.
  • Adventures in Permaculture with Julia Ghog and Mike Ebenal. While this talk featured three examples of experimental gardening using permaculture principles. The hugelkultur, the herb mound and the no-weed raised garden beds. It would also be interesting to learn other permaculture gardening ideas, for instance forest gardening.

Nicola Valley Community Garden  has a number of great events coming up in 2019. Be sure to check out NVCGS on Facebook or follow me at Experience Nicola Valley to read about whats going on past and present.

vegetables, good food, growing food

Photo credit – Nicola Valley Community Garden

Nicola Valley Community Garden’s Mission Statement

  • Facilitate and cooperate in the development of a sustainable food system for residents of the Nicola Valley.
  • Support the development of a network of community.
  • Encourage education in gardening; nutritional well-being and food security.
  • Engage seniors in the community mentoring of others.

Wondering how can you become involved? Check out a few options below. 

Support

Besides becoming an associate member of the NVCGS, which will help show that what they strive to do is important. And as a result this helps them generate funds to keep going. Whether you are gardening or interested in giving talks, there is always a way you can help support them.

Finally it promotes a sense of pride in our Community. As we work towards healthier lifestyles and food sustainability for all.

Upcoming events

In Conclusion here are some upcoming events for March

  • March 8th – 12-6 pm – NVIT
    Table at Food Connection Event
  • March 19th 6:30-7:30 Earthwalker Spiritual Shop
    Caring for House Plants and tropicals guest speaker
  • March 23rd – 10-4 – Civic Center
    Table at Nonprofit fair
  • March 30th 10-4 Civic Center
    1 o’clock talk about benefits of gardening @ Woman’s Fair

Contact

Nicola valley Community Gardens can be found on;

  • FaceBook
  • Instagram
  • email: nicolavalleycommunitygardens@gamil.com
  • Telephone: Alycia at – 604-833-8761

Nicola Valley Community Garden Society

Nicola Valley Women’s Fair, Merritt, BC

A place for women to get together with friends and family.

“A Place to forget all the pressure and responsibilities at home and have a day to unwind.” Ellen Miller

Nicola Valley Women’s Fair is a wonderful idea in bringing people and different vendors together. Therefore, people will have a chance to see the different businesses in the community all in one place.

Curious as to how the Nicola Valley Women’s Fair came about, I decided to do an interview with Ellen Miller from Miller’s Farm. Ellen is the brains and brawn behind the making of the first Nicola Valley Women’s Fair come about.

Miller's Farm Lower Nicola BC

Miller’s Farm in Lower Nicola BC photo credit Ellen Miller

(MB) I understand that this is the first Nicola Valley Women’s Fair?

(Ellen Miller) Yes, this is the first Nicola Valley Women’s Fair.

(MB) What made you decide to put on a women’s fair?

(Ellen Miller)  I was involved with the Business & Professional Women’s Group (BPW) in the Fraser Valley in the past. BPW promotes the rights of women across the world as well as encourages young women to be the best they can be. They are advocates for health, safety, and learning opportunities of women and mentor wherever they can. I would like to see more opportunities here in Merritt for women to be able to promote themselves and their business or ideas.

(MB) And can you tell us what the Nicola Valley women’s fair all about?

(Ellen Miller) The Nicola Valley Women’s Fair is a day for women to get together with their friends, family, workplace companions and just relax and take a day to pamper themselves. To forget all the pressure and responsibilities at home and have a day to unwind.

Sounds so exciting. Hope you are all just as excited as me.

(MB) What can we expect to see at the Nicola Valley women’s fair?

(Ellen Miller) At the Women’s Fair you can expect to see vendors representing health, beauty, fitness, clothing, jewelry, financial advice, home decor, flowers and so much more.

(MB) Did you organize and put on this women’s fair or is it affiliated with something else?

(Ellen Miller) I organized the women’s fair on my own. I love planning events and then watch as people enjoy them.

If you want to get involved in the women’s fair contact Ellen Miller at Miller’s Farm

(MB) When is the Nicola Valley women’s fair.

(Ellen Miller) The fair is on March 30th 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.

(MB) How much is it to attend the Fair?

(Ellen Miller) Admission is by donation to the Nicola Valley Food Bank.

(MB) Where will the Nicola valley women’s fair be held?

(Ellen Miller) The Nicola Valley Women’s Fair is being held at the Merritt Civic Center at  1950 Mamette Ave, Merritt, BC V1K 1R6

Merritt BC Civic Center

Front of the Merritt Civic Center Merritt, BC

(MB) Will there be food at the fair?

(Ellen Miller) Yes, Mary’s Catering will be running the kitchen to provide everyone with some delicious treats.

food catering corner cafe

Mary’s Corner Cafe and Catering. Photo credit Mary’s Corner Cafe and Catering.

(MB) I understand you have quite a few vendors for the first Women’s Fair. Can you tell us who they are?

(Ellen Miller) We have 31 vendors coming to the fair along with four guest speakers.

Opening Remarks

Our very own Mayor Linda Brown and MLA Jacquie Tegart will be onsite at 10 am to give the opening remarks for this great event.

Guest Speakers  at the Nicola Valley Women’s Fair include

Friday March 29th

Please join us. RCMP representative Tracy Dunsmore along with Tracy Auclair from Merritt Victim Services will be on site to speak about Domestic Violence. Room 4 at the Civic Center from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

Saturday March 30th

11 am

Morgan Sparrow – Tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle. Morgan discovered her passion for inspiring healthy living at a young age. She views health very important as a whole and finds purpose and passion impacting others in all aspects of their wellness. She is passionate about inspiring other women to live their best lives and empowering them to become capable of achieving all goals and dreams.

Morgan Sparrow

Photo credit Morgan Sparrow

12 noon

Leslee Lucy – Sunlife Financial – Planning your finances. Leslee is a certified Financial Planner with 20 years of experience with Sunlife Financial. 

“I live and work in Merritt, B.C. – You don’t plan your finances  – you plan your life. Whether by choice or circumstance, more and more women are taking charge of their money. I will give you a few simple steps to planning your finances and what to look for in a financial planner. If you don’t take care of your self – who will?” Leslee Lucy

Sunlife Financial Investing Merritt BC

Photo credit Sunlife Financial

1 pm

Joleen Morrison – Benefits of growing a garden. Joleen is no stranger to gardeners of Merritt and will be happy to tell you the health benefits of gardening. She is a graduate of U.N.B.C. with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Natural Resource Management, wildlife and fisheries. 

benefits gardening healthy lifestyle merritt bc

Photo Credit Ellen Miller

2 pm

Sheri Simson – Keen Fit Walking Poles – How to be fit! Sheri is a Health and Fitness Ambassador. She will be sharing with us how by just “Walking” she lost over 50 lbs. Sheri will also be demonstrating the secret techniques she uses to tone and sculpt her arms, stomach and back.  Want to know how 30 min can make a difference? Sheri will also be talking about that, so you don’t want to miss out.

Sheri Simson Health and Fitness Ambassador

Photo Credit Sheri Simson

Here are some of the Vendors that will be in attendance.

Sandy Labermeyer – Ki Essentials, Reflexology, Ellen Miller – Fused Glass, Jacquie Hall -Scentsy, Sue Thomas – Juice Plus

fused glass womens fair Miller's Farm

Fused glass from Miller’s Farm. Photo credit Miller’s Farm

Amy Douthwright – Custom made Tees, tank tops, baby items, Alycia Kempf – Seacret, Molly Toodlican – Watkins, Kathleen Courtoreille – Kathy’s Epicure Selections, Nicole Neufeld – Photography, Michelle Bacon – Bear Essential Apparel, Jamara Joyal – Massage Therapy, Megan – Akasa Yoga Studio

bath bombs soap lotions

Bath bombs, soap, lotions and more. You won’t be disappointed. Photo Credit B’s Bath

And a few more vendors

Pauline Ouellet – Hand Painted Jewelry, Julia Ahlin – Banana Bellem, N.V.I.T., Dawn Demuriak – Silk Flower Designs, Planet Women Ladies Fitness, N.V. Paddleboard, Primerica Financial, Vicki’s Petals and Flowers, B’s Bath products,  Florine Walkem – Native Arts, Deadman Valley Botanicals, Sara Vigh – Mortage Specialist, 31 Gifts,  T.O.P.S., Susan Riddle – Home Decor, Double Take Beauty Bar, Young Living Essential Oils.   

epicure selections spices women's fair

Spices from Epicure Selections. Photo credit Kathy’s Epicure Selections.

I have one more question.

(MB) Do you plan on having a Nicola Valley women’s fair every year?

(Ellen Miller) I plan on making this an annual event. There are already have ideas for next year to increase the speakers, provide mini learning experiences and add more categories – ie: wedding planners, mobile clothing vendors, resource information etc. I don’t want the event to take on the role of a craft fair. It needs to be a day of learning, having access to programs and resources available in this area, pampering and relaxing.

In Conclusion

Thank you Ellen Miller for speaking with me about this wonderful event.

The Nicola Valley Women’s Show is coming up on March 30th, at the Merritt Civic Center from 10-4. You won’t want to miss this! Lots to see and learn. I am really looking forward to this event and hope to see a lot of familiar and new faces.

If you are a vendor, we would love it if you would please share the link to your face book or website. Share this blog on your page will give people a chance to see where you will be on March 30th.

If you would like to see more blogs about Merritt and the Nicola Valley please follow me or one of our other bloggers at Experience Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley Women’s Fair

Things To Do In Merritt, B.C. 

Spring, summer, fall or winter you will find many things to do in Merritt, B.C.

Seek out new stores

New and different “Things to do in Merritt, B.C.” just has to include new and different places to go. There are some new businesses in town and it took me less than 10 minutes to find two of them.

Both “The Bee’s Knees” and “Petals and Plants” are new shops on Quilchena Avenue in the downtown core and several more will be up and running by the time you read this blog. Seek them out and enjoy something different!

The Bee’s Knees

Owner Amanda loves her job! She started out with the idea of selling clothes from home but that idea sure mushroomed! So she  began “The Bee’s Knees” in March 2018 but outgrew that tiny space almost immediately!  Next, Amanda moved to her present location in the 1900 block of Quilchena Avenue in July, taking all her great ideas (and clothes) with her! 

This lady knows how to dress her clients! Amanda will offer you ideas and combinations you probably would never have thought of yourself. She is one creative business  owner and if you are an old doll like me, her advice will help you update your wardrobe, or at least bring it into the 21st century!And, bless her, the woman carries plus sizes too! Don’t be embarrassed. Ask Amanda! Shop here at The Bee’s Knees where you won’t be all alone!

Check out “The Bee’s Knees” for great event clothes, vintage looks and up-to-the-minute designs too!

Amanda will even do your nails to match your outfit! At the Bee’s Knees you will certainly leave happy, even if you just go to look! Check out Bees Knees Boutique on facebook.

Petals & Plants

The next new place I came across when I was hunting for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” was Petals & Plants. I heard more than one person say “Finally, a flower shop in Merritt!”

Yes, it is a flower shop- and more! Vicki, the owner, started her shop because, as she puts it, “I’m not great at retiring. I missed the people.” She won’t miss them here! The place has been full of customers and visitors every time I’ve stopped by! In addition to flowers, of course, Vicky carries lots of constantly changing items that make great gifts, so the place is likely to be full of people as well as petals & plants no matter when you go. So check it out!

Enjoy a mini spa day

For a list of “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” why not include a mini spa day! Start by going to the Aquatic Centre for a workout, followed by a swim, sauna and whirlpool. Then, take a hot shower, scrub with an exfoliant, pat down with a soft towel and use plenty of body cream. There. Now you are all soft and energized! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Afterwards? Keep your prearranged appointment at one of Merritt’s several hair salons for a wash, trim and blow dry. Then have a complete mani-pedi since many salons do both. And while you are there, try some new makeup too!

Now, you feel as fantastic as you look, so treat yourself to a nice lunch! Also, why not enjoy the rest of the day shopping?

 Return home happy, relaxed and revitalized, a new you!

Things to do in merritt, B.C.

Seniors aquafit

Take a Walk

Among the best and easiest “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” is to take a walk! Enjoy some of our gorgeous scenery and beautiful parks! Check out the possibilities in my blogs Walking Around Merritt” and “Parks in Merritt”and have some fun in any season. Incidentally, if you have kids with you, winter is a great time to walk in the park! Make snow angels, snow forts, snow people or snow pets! In addition to this, you can pack a snow picnic and add thermoses of hot soup and hot cocoa! Yum! You will have just as much fun as the kids!

Things to do in Merritt, B.C. -Parks

Ready for a picnic after a walk in one of Merritt’s parks

Check Out the Library

These days the library goes way beyond a simple place to read and borrow books. There are many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” right in our library!  Yes, we all know about borrowing cd’s, dvd’s, and audio books. In addition to these standbys, there are also many children’s reading programs, crafting classes, story times, adult literacy programs and art classes. Besides all this, there are computer classes (and computers to use), knitting, crocheting, gardening, painting, food preserving and various discussion groups that meet at the library. Surprised?

Add to this list some very interesting lectures and guest authors who do readings. Or, if you want a quiet, peaceful day, pick out a book, sit on the comfy sofa by the fireplace and just read!

With all this available, I’m sure you will find many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” that will entertain you at any time of the year!

Have a Pub Lunch

Well, we all like to eat, don’t we? So of course I include food in my “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”  blog. Not the regular restaurants this time, though. The pubs!

A few years ago a friend dragged me, kicking and screaming I’ll admit, to a local pub for lunch. What a revelation! I actually had fun and a good lunch- at a reasonable price! Also, the lunch crowd was lively and fun. I could hardly believe it! I enjoyed myself!

Most pubs in Merritt have daily lunch and dinner specials. Try one! You will be surprised at how good pub food can be! And no, you don’t have to order alcohol with your meal if you would rather have coffee! However, a burger and a beer can go down nicely when you are in the mood.

Bonus- no one will give you a “look” if you laugh a little loudly with your friends!  

 Look at the seniors programs

If you are a senior, or know one, check out the goings-on at the Seniors Centre. This group certainly adds a lot to the “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” list. Try some of the following programs:

  • Vinyasa Yoga @ the Civic Centre
  • Seniors Free Swim @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stretch & Stability @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Noon Hour Aqua Fit @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stand Tall, Don’t Fall @ the Seniors Centre
  • Cribbage
  • Bingo 
    Things to do in Merritt, B.C.

    swinging seniors

                                                                           
  • Duplicate Bridge
  • Carpet Bowling .                                                           
  • Court Whist
  • Physically Challenged Floor Curling                                 
  • Floor Curling
  • Floor & Table Shuffleboard
  • Drop-in Lunch
  • Drop-in Activities, Fridays
  • Rummoli & Games
  • Drop-in Activities, Saturdays
  • General Meeting
  • Potluck

Wow! And some people think seniors aren’t active!  Compared to what? Test out some things from this list and see if you can keep up!

Go bowling

How long has it been since you got a group of friends together and went bowling? Have most of us bowled regularly (we’re talking 5 pins here) since we were kids? Or maybe not bowled regularly since we were kids! If you’re looking for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”, bowling is a fun one with the bonus of being genuine exercise! Check out Merritt Bowling Centre.  Enjoy noise, laughter, exercise and yes, food! Bring back some of the good times of yesteryear. Repeat often.

What Else Can You Come Up With?

 While there must be dozens more ideas that I haven’t even touched on, these are a few to get you started. What new ideas can you and your friends come up with?

Your senior blogger signing off for now.

Diane 

 

Swimming in Merritt, British Columbia

Whether you are travelling alone or with a group; with tiny tots or seniors,  swimming in Merritt will make a splash with everyone!

Who would expect our small city to offer the amazing swimming facilities available at Merritt’s Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre? Those of us who live here sometimes take these goodies for granted. Since I’m a local and know the city’s secrets, come with me and be surprised at what a swimming good time you can have here!

Nicola Valley Aquatic centre

Nicola Valley Aquatic centre

Aquatic Centre Amenities in Merritt

Fitness Room

If you want either a gentle warm-up before swimming or a real cardio blast, you can get them both right here! Maybe, like me, you prefer to start off gently, try every available piece of equipment and work those muscles to your personal limit. I like to feel well exercised but not worked to exhaustion preferring to leave some energy for swimming and just playing.

Test out your fitness level with the following equipment:

Cardio

– Treadmills
– Elliptical
– Bike
– Incumbent bike
– Stair Climber
20 minute limit on cardio machines.

Weight Machines

– Shoulder press- Hamstring curl
– Leg extension
– Chest press
– Tri/lat. pull
– Arm curl
– Seated row

Weights
– Barbells
– Plates
– Dumbbells

Misc. Equipment

– BOSU
– Stability ball
– Medicine balls
– Tubing
– Mats
– Skipping Rope

Now that we have warmed up and exercised some, let’s ease our muscles in the whirlpool.

Whirl Pool

This is an easy, pleasant way to relax those muscles you perhaps haven’t used in a while! It is my favorite spot in the whole complex! No swimming here! Just lean back and let the jets hit the tender spots. This will soften you up for the next stage. Feels good, doesn’t it?

When we’ve rested up for a bit, we can move on to some swimming.

25 Metre Main Pool

Nicola valley aquatic centre

Main Pool area

There are 6 lanes in our Aquatic Centre pool so here is the place to treat yourself to a really good swimming workout without disturbing anyone else! Just pick a lane! 

Do you enjoy getting serious swimming exercise? Like to go for miles? Then here is your chance to push yourself to the limit! Travelling? What better way to work out those kinks! Remember- start off slowly, though, we have just been lazing in the whirlpool!

Lazy River & Vortex

The lazy river is a great way to relax after swimming or fitness workouts. Not only can I float on my back, I can also just let the lazy river float me gently in the current. What a perfect way to soothe away the stress of serious exercise! Probably it’s not the best idea to do what I did. I fell asleep!

The next thing to sample is the sauna. I don’t know how you feel, but after relaxing or swimming,  even in a heated pool, I can end up feeling a bit chilled. Some down time in the sauna will certainly solve that problem.

The Sauna

Ah, yes, luxurious, delicious heat! And we can use it in so many combinations! Fitness exercising and sauna, swimming and sauna, playing and sauna- any way you choose to enjoy the facilities, the sauna will fit right in and you will have a thoroughly relaxing time!

Today I just want to soak up the heat, as well as ease my too long unused muscles. Ahh! Lovely!

Leisure Pool

After I am well roasted, I like to take a final plunge in the leisure pool to play, swim and float a bit and cool down. This is relaxing and low key. I like to play with the pool toys, especially if there are some kids in the group with us! We forget that kids are surprised when adults will play with them and they love it! So do we. Nothing like enjoying your second childhood first hand!

Tot’s Pool and Water Sprays

Even in the depths of winter this is a great place to take the little ones. They seem to enjoy the surprise of the water sprays more than anything! It sure is fun for us adults to watch the kids splashing and hear their squeals of delight. Truly, there is no music like the laughter of children. Their uninhibited joy always makes us smile. Oh, yes, you can help them with their swimming too!

Pool Showers

After all this swimming and activity, it feels great to have a shower, get soggy hair dried. Time to get ready to leave. We always work up a good appetite at the pool and Aquatic Centre. Isn’t it lucky that the complex is close to several downtown restaurants? Before we go, let me leave you with a bit more information about Merritt’s Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre.

Pool Parties

Want a birthday party for your child with all the fun and none of the work? The Aquatic Centre offers themed pool parties with an energetic Aquatic Leader, fun, games, and memories to last a lifetime! Choose from a Western, Hawaiian, Disco, Frozen, Pirate or Dinosaur theme. The children will enjoy pizza, beverages, piñata and goodie bags. Fully decorated to your choice of theme.

Seniors Free Swim

Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre

Seniors aquafit

 

Since I’m a senior, I am always interested in any special senior programs on offer. The Aquatic Centre offers a seniors free swim Wednesdays from October 3 to May29, from 9:00 to 10:00 am. This program is sponsored by the Seniors Society and is intended for seniors to come for a fun, free swim.

Aquatic Special Events

The Aquatic Centre offers many special events throughout the year such as:
– National Seniors Day
– Dive-In Movie
– Family Fun Nights
– Free Teen Night
– Free Pre-Teen Night
– Halloween Swim
– Hawaiian Swim
– Stocking Stuffer Sale
– Splash Down With Santa
– New Year’s Eve Day Swim
– Super Hero Swim

Thanks to the Aquatic Centre for the information contained in this blog and thanks to the  Senior’s Centre.

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Seven Trails to Choose From

From super easy to good uphill challenges, these Merritt walks offer

Walks in Merritt, Canada

I love walking trails!

something for everyone!

As a senior, walking is something I seriously enjoy! It gives me plenty of gentle exercise while offering interesting nature views, busy urban scenes and sometimes – ice cream! And walks in Merritt, Canada offer all of these!

These seven walks are great not only for seniors but also for everyone who enjoys a good walk. Turn your walk into a serious hike, if you must, by choosing two or more challenging walks in the same day.

I am going to give you step by step walking instructions, but I have included a map of these trails at the end of my blog.

Walks in Merritt #1 – Coldwater River/Voght Street – 3.4 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

River trail

Are you a bird watcher? Or would you like to see the salmon run? Then this is the walk for you!

Start just past Central School. Enjoy the views as you follow the scenic Coldwater River and the western boundary of Voght Park to Canford Avenue. Next, cross Main St and walk along the river to the bridge.

At the bridge, stop and see the spot where the Coldwater River flows into the Nicola River. Then turn back a short distance to the place where the trail meets Quilchena Ave.

Follow Quilchena Avenue to Voght Street, then turn right and return to your starting point.

Now, isn’t this a great walk? One of my favs to walk, or bike ride!

 

 

Walks in Merritt #2 – Collettville/Voght Park – 3.2 km

Here is another good walk, not only for bird watching but also for salmon viewing. Begin at the corner of Coldwater Avenue and Voght Street and head south along Voght Street.

This walk first takes you past Central School (on your right), then over the bridge that crosses the Coldwater River. Turn right onto Lindley Creek Road, then right again at Fir Ave. Follow Fir Avenue to Hill Street. Now turn right and follow Hill Street. At Main Street, cross the bridge and follow Main Street to Canford Aveue. Now turn right and walk along Canford Avenue to Cleasby Street. Turn left at Cleasby and then right at Coldwater Avenue. Walk along Coldwater Avenue as far as Voght Street. A good place to look for Salmon is as you cross the Coldwater River. And the southern half of this route is the best area for bird watching.

Walks in Merritt #3 – Diamondvale – 2.2 km

Here is a peaceful walk around a residential neighbourhood. Begin at the corner of Clapperton Avenue and Menzies Street. Follow Armstrong onto Bann Street. Turn right and follow Bann for one block. Turn right at Scott Place and in the cul-de-sac look for a walkway on the right hand side. Follow this walkway to Sage Street. Continue on Sage to Clapperton Avenue. Turn right and continue to Menzies Street.

Walks in Merritt #4 – The Flagpole – 1.5 km

This walk may be short, but is it challenging! It is dusty and all up hill! My advice is to choose a coolish day. There is no shade on this route! The walk starts just before the cemetery on the north side of Juniper Drive and switchbacks up to the flagpole.

This is a good walk to exercise both your heart and your leg muscles. It is popular with dog owners but do remember to take water for your pet and yourself. Once you reach the flagpole, you reap a generous reward. Not just the workout itself but also the gorgeous, panoramic view of Merritt and the valley.

Walks in Merritt #5 – Parker/Juniper – 4.7 km

This walk offers some good views of Merritt. In addition, in spring, birdwatchers may want to take time to seek out meadowlarks around the golf course.

Begin at Grimmet Street and follow Parker Avenue to Juniper Drive. Continue along Juniper past houses, the cemetery (on your right) and the golf course on your left,  to Nicola Ave. Watch out for truck traffic on the lower half of Juniper above Norgaard Ready-Mix. Also along Nicola Avenue to the bridge. Turn left at the stop sign and follow Nicola Avenue to Cleasby Street.

Then left onto Cleasby and follow this street to First Avenue. Next, turn right and continue walking. Notice the beautiful Sikh temple on your right and the river on your left. When you reach Voght Street, turn left and continue up Voght Street to Grimmet. This last stretch is up hill. Central Park will be on your left, a fun place you may want to explore another time.

Walks in Merritt, Canada #6 – Rotary Park and Trails – 1.3 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Rotary Park Trail

This trail is popular not only with senior walkers, but also with bike riding children and dog walkers too.

Built by the Rotary Clubs of Merritt with the help from the City of Merritt and the City Public Works employees, this route starts at the eastern edge of Rotary Park. It follows the north side of Central Park. From the other direction, the starting point is near the RCMP station.

At Rotary Park, the paved walkway links to the path around the park’s circumference. This is an easy and pretty walk.

Lots of grass, trees, shade and flowers. If it is summer and you have children with you, bring bathing suits. They will enjoy the spray park and you will too!

In addition to all this, there is a band shell and music in the park so check this out!      

 

Walks in Merritt #7 – Walk of Stars/Murals Downtown Merritt – 2.4 km

Walks in Merritt, Canada

Walk of Stars display seen throughout Merritt

Do your handprints match those of the Merritt Mountain Music Festival’s past performers? Try them out and see! Almost 70 plaques of Country Musicians handprints are waiting in Merritt’s downtown core!

In addition, ten giant sized murals of country performers are painted on the sides of buildings in the downtown area. This is an easy, flat walk passing several restaurants, stores and (big bonus) places selling ice cream!

I may be a senior blogger but everybody loves ice cream! Yumm.

Let’s see you out on these walks around Merritt, Canada! I’ll be choosing a couple of these to do again soon!

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Merritt for allowing us to share their map and some of their trail descriptions with you.

walks in Merritt, Canada

Enjoy these walking routes throughout Merritt.

 See you on the trails!

From your senior blogger,

Diane

Seniors Bike Riding

Things to do for Seniors in Merritt

“Bike, helmet, lock and picnic lunch all organized, off we went.”

Come have some bike riding fun in Merritt. Remember when we were kids? We biked everywhere because we had to. It was our only means of transportation if we didn’t want to walk. Today we planned to take an easy ride around the flat part of Merritt, since I haven’t been on a bike for over 35 years. As a senior I decided a gentle restart to bike riding was in order. We could stop for a picnic lunch in a quiet, grassy place, near the river or in one of the parks along the route.

Senior Bike Choices

Since I don’t own my own bike, I decided to get the best bike and biking information directly from Travis at “Breathe Bikes”. The word is out. He not only sells a wide range of bikes and all the gear to go with them, he also rents them. And at very reasonable rates too! Some really pretty ones include a new favorite of mine – the tricycle.

Tricycles For Seniors

bike riding

Ready for a picnic

At first, I felt unsure about riding a tricycle. I thought, “How can I say I got my bruises

from falling off a tricycle? This thing will be heavy, clumsy and hard to steer.” That is sooo not true! Travis had me test-drive an evo bike. Once around the block and I was hooked! That’s all it took for me to get the feel of “triking”.

I loved my evo tricycle with its upright handlebars. I could actually sit on its comfortable, bum-shaped seat! It is light, steers well, and has a large basket fitted on the back. A good load of groceries or a big picnic for two (with wine) will easily fit. It even folds for easier storage! Bike, helmet, lock and picnic lunch all organized, off we went.

Seniors Biking Routes

The route you take will depend on your fitness level. You can wimp out (as I did) and go for super easy or challenge yourself with a tough, uphill grind. Our choice was the Coldwater River/Voght Street route, an easy 3.4 km, most of it away from traffic.

We started outside “Breathe Bikes” on Quilchena Avenue, turned right onto Voght Street and were on our way.

We passed several interesting shops in the first few blocks so I mentally marked them for further exploration another day. Our goal was the entrance to the trail that runs alongside the Coldwater River. It’s an easy find because the parking lot gives it away.

The Coldwater River Trail

bike riding

Coldwater River Trail

When we reached the Coldwater River Trail, everything was amazing! It was one of those perfect days when Merritt smiles on you. The sky was a beautiful cloudless blue. A warm, light breeze cooled our barely sweating skin and not a single mosquito showed its nasty little head! Not even in the cool, tree-shaded parts of the path.

This is a peaceful, scenic route with lots of little perks. We lucked out that day! The saskatoon berries were ripe when we went by so, of course we stopped to pick some. Good thing we brought a couple of bags with us. Merritt always seems to have tasty, wild things growing along the paths wherever we go.

Route Distractions

It’s a good thing we weren’t trying for a hard workout. The river is low at this time of year and such a distraction that we tied up and skidded down the bank for a short wade. Yes, the water is cold! Found some pretty rocks washed down by the spring floods, nothing valuable, just pretty. Afterward, we sat on a gravel bar listening to the birds and enjoying the sweet, warm air.

Bike Riding and Lunch

bike riding

Coldwater River

Our stomachs were starting to let us know that lunch was next, so we scrambled back up to our bikes and pushed on. This last part of the path seemed to be quite busy. More bike riders, people walking dogs, dogs walking people, and several runners- all going faster than we were!

When we were almost at Main Street we found a good place for a picnic. Lots of green grass, a few shade trees, laughter, families having lunch, a dog chasing a ball. A good place to eat. We tied up our bikes (trike), spread out our feast and tucked in. I guess I should admit here that the saskatoons never made it home. They topped off our lunch deliciously!

Homeward Bound

The last part of our ride was on city streets, but quiet city streets. Main Street and then Quilchena Avenue were very peaceful all the way back to “Breathe Bikes”.

We’d had such a relaxing day! It felt as if I had been gone for a weekend instead of only a few hours. Going bike riding is another great thing for seniors to do in Merritt.

I returned my tricycle reluctantly. In the short time we spent together on the trail, I felt that the trike and I had become good friends. Do you think I should give her a permanent home? 

I would call her Millie.

From your senior blogger,

Diane

Things to Do for Seniors in Merritt

“I’m a senior on the go, never knowing what I’ll decide to do next.”

What an adventure! Starting a blog will be easy and fun, I thought. Right? Well, it’s not just about writing. It’s about things to do for seniors in Merritt!

Things To Do For Seniors In Merritt:

-the Seniors Spring dance

-the “new”  path along Voght Street

-a visit to the Community Garden behind the hospital

The Seniors Centre was not somewhere I had been before.  Honestly, I thought it would be a place where really old people sat around, played cards and gossiped.  Not so!!!  When I walked in, there were a number of women around tables decorating hats.  When I asked why they were decorating them they told me it was for the spring hat dance contest on Saturday night.  Now, I have to admit that I haven’t been to a Saturday night dance for umpteen years, so I decided I needed to go.

Seniors on the Go in Merritt

 

The Spring Hat Dance was a lot of fun

May 12/18     Two smiling, beautifully hatted ladies greeted me at the door and took my ticket.  Punch, both alcoholic and non, sat on a sideboard where we could help ourselves along with coffee and water. I enjoyed the three- piece band (music by Randy Chillihitzi) that played good old country dance music, a bit of rock n roll and tossed in a few modern tunes to boot. Since I grew up with these songs it was a trip down memory lane for me.  One thing for sure, we seniors really know how to dance and wow can some of us rock!

Seniors on the Go in Merritt

The food was tasty pot- luck appetizers.  Yumm.

Would you believe admission was only $10.00?

Will I go again?  You betcha!

For more information about what real seniors do and to find out what other fun is planned including:

  • swimming
  • shuffleboard
  • exercise
  • cribbage
  • carpet bowling
  • bridge
  • floor curling
  • horseshoes
  • pot luck suppers

Phone:  250-378-3763

Email:  msca2@telus.net

Have yourselves as much fun as I did.

 

Enjoy A Simple Walk – The Path

On the way up to the community garden I remembered reading an article in the Merritt Herald  about the new path that ran along the edge of Voght Street.  I was thinking it might be fun to walk there, particularly on a hot day.  It looked shady, cool and interesting- especially from the inside of the car as we flew by, always a quick way to check out new stuff.Seniors on the Go in Merritt

So here I am on the wide, paved, smooth path with greenery, trees and some recognizable plants at the edges of the pavement.  The sun is smiling down on me, a few fluffy white clouds are floating by and a cool breeze is blowing away the heat.  Life is good.  Some wild pea plants that grow back a little from the edge looked tempting so I confess to pulling a few shoots for a nibble.  They taste exactly like fresh peas if you get them very young and their little purple flowers are good too.  Just be absolutely sure you know what you’re eatin

If you make a mistake, the path starts across the street from the hospital.

Well!  The path went only about ½ a k and ends too near Mickey D’s for my own good.  Still, it is pretty and the peas were tasty.  Enjoy!

 

Fellow Seniors – Dig This! The Community Garden

Come with me today to visit Merritt’s community garden. It sits quietly behind the hospital in an alfalfa field, with parking on Reid to avoid crowding the hospital parking lot.

Seniors on the Go in Merritt

We are in the process of starting some new projects.  By the end of summer we will have:

  • a gazebo
  • a pollinator garden
  • a possible beehive
  • planters for the food bank and soup kitchen
  • a public area under the sign for people to pick a few samples

Most of the above are started already, the food bank and soup kitchen gardens are planted and our personal gardens are growing well.   I feel happy to see the tiny plants popping up out of the ground despite the cold, hot, rainy, dry weather we are getting.  Very unpredictable this year.

Visitors are always welcome

Anyone who happens to be working that day will be glad to show you around and tell you how we got started.  The part of the garden outside the fence is for public use so pick a few strawberries, snip some chamomile for tea or try the swiss chard.

The gazebo is a cool place to have lunch on a hot day, not only for the shade it provides but because there is usually a cool breeze too.  Please bring your own chairs and enjoy some peaceful down time.

By July, the height of the blooming season, the pollinator garden will be gorgeous.  Right now we are discussing which plants would give the best results and make the bees and other pollinators happy.

To protect our little plots we do request that visitors leave their pets outside the garden and thank you for  not smoking in the area.

If you would like more information or would like to join the community garden contact us at:

nicolavalleycommunitygardens@gmail.com

I’m a senior on the go, never knowing what I’ll decide to do next.  And with lots of things for seniors to do in Merritt, what would you like to do?