November Wrap-Up

Hello December and goodbye November! November is the cool month sandwiched between glorious October and festive December. My response to the cool temperatures in November is to go for colours, lights, music, and sunshine whenever the sun appears. Books provide a good escape, too. Let me share my highlights with you and I invite you to tell me yours.

November 2019


I visited four free and colourful art exhibits with my family and friends in November:

  • The Chrysanthemum flower show was flowers and art in one.
  • The Day of the Dead festival showed a lot of orange flowers and several ofrendas.
  • The unveiling of the Annual Christmas window display at the Bay was eye-catching. The Bay is a major department store here.
  • The Cavalcade of Lights event at City Hall was dazzling.
Pink and yellow mums
Floral display at the Chrysanthemum show


I wrote six blog posts to capture the highlights of my fun adventures in October and November. The theme seems to be hiking on trails or walking in the gardens, partly because Autumn is the best season for these activities and partly because I enjoy walking and nature:


Six very good books in different genres, written by authors from Canada, Mexico, the UK, and the USA kept me entertained:

  • The Suspect, a crime fiction novel by Fiona Barton.
  • The Bookshop on the Shore, a romance novel by Jenny Colgan.
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, a social drama fiction novel by Gail Honeyman.
  • Full Disclosure, a crime fiction novel by Beverley McLachlin who was the former Chief Justice of Canada, the first woman to hold that position.
  • Dual Citizens, a social drama fiction novel by Alix Ohlin.
  • The Black Jersey, a crime fiction novel by Jorge Zepeda Patterson, translated by Achy Obejas.


I enjoyed listening to three wonderful classical concerts performed by the following talented musicians:

  • Lisa Tahara, piano and Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh, violin
  • Ryan Phelps, piano
  • Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Michael Perry, violin, and Mai Tategami, violin


My family and I visited the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) festival where we saw several colourful ofrendas on display. While most of the ofrendas were for people who passed away, the Ofrenda dedicated to the Bees, created by Jade Leyva, was environmentally focused.

The piece is designed to raise awareness and pay tribute to the untold millions of bees that have died in recent years due to herbicide and pesticide. Bees sustain food system and ensure food security. Their rapid decline is threatening the future of all species, including the human race.

Ofrenda dedicated to the Bees by Jade Leyva
Ofrenda dedicated to the Bees by Jade Leyva


My friends and I went to see the Christmas window display at the Bay downtown. The theme changes every year. This year includes traditional holiday music while smart robots make snow angels, wrap gift boxes, print Santa’s list, etc. There are five to six extra large windows where passers-by can see the actions and bright objects. It’s really fun to watch.

The Bay Christmas window display
The Bay Christmas window display – Gift assembly line


I completed thirteen strengthening workouts in the gym, five swimming sessions, and seven yoga classes. Each session lasts one hour. I also meditated 15 minutes daily and walked outdoors six days per week. On weekdays I usually walk 8 km (5 miles), and on Saturday 3 km (about 2 miles).


In lieu of travelling in November, I work on a few home projects to get ready for the holidays. I tidy up my home room by room, put out some winter decorations, update my calendar with a small number of social events, bake a cake, make donations, and write greeting cards. I’m pleased with my progress at the moment and will continue to tackle more home projects in December for a fresh start on January 1.

Season of Cool window display
Season of Cool window display


I continued my daily French and Spanish lessons on Duolingo. Some of my other new learning include fun facts about chrysanthemums, how cycling teams work while they compete at the Tour de France, and how to bake a Second World War ration cake.


Unlike the above amazing arts, books, and concerts, the three movies that I watched were not so great. The Farewell was the most interesting out of the three:

  • Can You Keep a Secret?
  • For Love or Money?
  • The Farewell


November was a very good and productive month. I continued my health and leisure activities and got organized for the holiday season. I look forward to enjoying Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.

The holiday lights and Christmas trees are everywhere in the city centre now. The temperature is hovering at freezing point, give or take a couple of degrees Celsius. We’re expecting snow today. So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

How was your November? What good things happened? I’d love to hear your comments.

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42 thoughts on “November Wrap-Up

  1. Retirement Reflections December 1, 2019 / 9:42 am

    Hi, Natalie – I love the window displays — so festive.
    Congratulations on a full and meaningful November.
    I put up our Christmas decorations yesterday, decluttering as I went.
    Today, I plan to tackle a few more cupboards. The day after that, it’s Christmas card writing time.
    Sounds like we’ve had some similar activities going!
    Wishing you a wonderful December!


    • Natalie December 1, 2019 / 10:45 am

      Hi Donna – We sure have some similar activities going. A tidy home with festive decor feels so nice at this time of the year, and writing Christmas cards brings us closer to our family and friends who may be far away. Wishing you a wonderful December, too!


  2. Jo December 1, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    Your monthly round-ups are always so well balanced. A good blend of mind, body, spirit and family – and this one is no different. Love those window displays…


    • Natalie December 1, 2019 / 5:42 pm

      Thank you, Jo. I do try for a variety of activities every month. The holiday window displays in the city centre are really nice to see. They make this time of the year feel festive and special.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deborah December 1, 2019 / 11:06 pm

    I loved Eleanor Oliphant – it’s one of my fave books!!! As usual I love the balance in your life. I. Must. Do. More.


    • Natalie December 4, 2019 / 5:39 pm

      Thanks, Deb, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  4. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid December 2, 2019 / 12:11 am

    Such a busy and productive month – I bet it really is starting to look a lot like Christmas in Canada! I loved Eleanor Oliphant and am a huge fan of Jenny Colgan, she’s just fabulous! Hope you have a December to remember.


    • Natalie December 4, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      I hope you have a fabulous December, too. Thank you, Sammie, for stopping by.


  5. Debbie from Deb's World December 3, 2019 / 3:34 pm

    Hi Natalie, I always enjoy your posts and this was fab and full of your creativity and productivity! Your books read sound interesting and I really enjoyed the Eleanor Oliphant one. I am enjoying the cold temperatures here in England and appreciating Christmas decorations and lights far more than I do at home when it’s summertime and hot! #lifethisweek


    • Natalie December 4, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      Christmas in colder climate is great! Thank you, Debbie, for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandra Kelly December 3, 2019 / 5:36 pm

    Those Chrysanthemums!!! How stunning. Hope you have a beautiful December. Xx


    • Natalie December 4, 2019 / 5:42 pm

      Thank you, Sandra, for your visit and comment. I hope you have a fantastic December.


  7. Denyse Whelan December 4, 2019 / 2:42 am

    You really do present a well-balanced review of your life and how things went for you. Loved the chrysanthemums in the star shape. Amazing. I hope the weather is kind to you. Ours is being very unkind and we have 130 fires burning in NSW and with drought conditions, hotter days ahead there seems little respite for the firefighters. We are safe however we are very affected by smoke when we step outside.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is: 49/51 Taking Stock #5 9/12/19 Hope to see you there! Denyse.


    • Natalie December 4, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      The fires and smoke are terrible. I hope some rain comes soon to give the firefighters relief. Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. Have a good week!


  8. Erica/Erika December 8, 2019 / 8:44 pm

    I always love reading your posts, Natalie. You put a positive spin on life and all the good that surrounds us. You have had an amazing Fall and I appreciate you sharing some of the trails you hiked on. The rapid decline of the Bees is a very serious subject. The Christmas display at the Bay is interesting. You remind me of a special Christmas display downtown Vancouver, Woodward’s, many years ago. We had an eventful month, some sad, and some happy. The Happy: We went with our grandchildren to Disney On Ice in Vancouver. First time for us and better than expected. Natalie, I look forward to continuing to share and connect with you in the New Year!


    • Natalie December 10, 2019 / 8:15 am

      Hi Erica/ Erika – The Disney on Ice time with your grandchildren sounds wonderful. I imagine the skating, music, lighting and overall setup must be amazing. I’m sorry to hear you had some sad events in November. I hope December is much kinder to you. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. I also look forward to continuing to share and connect with you in the New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennifer Jones December 10, 2019 / 4:55 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had an fabulous November. I was interested to read that your learning up about Tour de Tour devFrance. Most people don’t understand this event. I love it and get very little sleep as I watch it in the early hours. You’ve read some interesting books #MLSTL Will share


    • Natalie December 10, 2019 / 5:09 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer, for your comment. I’ve followed Tour de France events on and off. The Black Jersey novel explained the roles of the cycling team members and some strategies that I found interesting.


  10. Glenys Robyn Hicks December 10, 2019 / 11:04 pm

    I love this time of year and it seems like you do too. coming from #SeniSal


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 8:55 am

      Thank you. Glenys, for your visit and comment. November is a good time to get ready for the holidays and enjoy the start of festivities.


  11. leannelc December 11, 2019 / 12:53 am

    It sounds like you had a very productive November Natalie – I love that “cool” window display and all your out and about pics. I also read Eleanor Oliphant recently – a bit weird but also a really nice read – out of my usual niche, but a nice change.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM ☺️


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 8:58 am

      Hi Leanne – Thank you for hosting and sharing. I try to read more widely this year. I also find that it’s a nice change to read a new-to-me author and book genre.


  12. Johanna December 11, 2019 / 4:50 am

    You sound as if you have it all sussed, but I know you work hard at it. You seem to have such a good balance – mind, body, family. I really enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant too. Have you read Olive Kitterridge by Elizabeth Strout?


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 9:02 am

      Thank you, Jo, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it. I’ve added Olive Kitteridge book to my list. I looked it up and apparently it was also made into a movie/ series.


  13. Jennifer December 11, 2019 / 9:42 am

    Sounds like a very busy month between all that cleaning and all those events! I’ll have to check out those books. I’ve heard of Eleanor Oliphant but haven’t read it yet. From all the comments, sounds like one that I should add to my Audible.


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 10:17 am

      Thank you, Jennifer, for your comment. The pace in November was just right for me. I did everything in small doses and took breaks. Eleanor Oliphant book was a good read.


  14. Lisa Dorenfest ~ One Ocean At A Time December 11, 2019 / 11:41 am

    Always a fresh breath of positivity and with such energy. So much accomplished and enjoyed in November. May your December be merry and bright! Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, Sparkling New Year


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 12:38 pm

      Thank you, Lisa, for your kind comment. Wishing you and the Captain a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year 2020!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Cheryl December 11, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    Hi Natalie! Wow, you read a lot! How do you find the time with all the other activities you’ve got happening?! You must be a super organised person. 🙂 My November was pretty good, but I think it’s time to start recording what I do each month to see some of my own achievements, it’s so easy to forget what happened 3 or 4 weeks ago! 🙂


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      Hi Cheryl – Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m glad to hear you had a good November. I usually read at night before bed. I track my activities on a simple spreadsheet so I don’t need to rely on memory 🙂 Hope you find a system that works for you.


      • Cheryl December 11, 2019 / 1:20 pm

        What a good idea – a spreadsheet! Why didn’t I think of that?! I think I’ll start one for the new year, I’ve got a crazy 2020 ahead of me and I’m going to need all the help I can get to remember everything! 🙂


        • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 1:36 pm

          I hope a simple spreadsheet helps you and 2020 will turn out much much better than you expect.


  16. Deb December 11, 2019 / 4:18 pm

    You fit so much into your months, it’s so interesting to read it all. Those window displays are so pretty – can you believe that Christmas Day is now only two weeks away – eek!


    • Natalie December 11, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you, Deb, for your comment. December is flying by. I took photos of many beautiful window displays but included just two on the blog. I hope you’re enjoying December.


  17. Dr Sock December 13, 2019 / 2:52 pm

    I really liked the Ofrenda dedicated to the bees. I have always been an organic gardener, and try to create a bee-friendly garden and yard.


    • Natalie December 13, 2019 / 6:08 pm

      Hi Jude – I remember seeing photos of your beautiful garden and yard on your blog. I hope more people create bee-friendly gardens like you do.


  18. December 13, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    Your November was a successful month. Well done on the strength training workouts. We are trying to lift weights each time we visit the gym. I think it has made a difference for us.

    Dia de los muertos is such a moving celebration/holiday. The altar you shared in your photo is so beautifully done with such a poignant message.

    Yay for completing projects around the house. I work from room to room, too, but seems I just get the last room clean when I have to start all over again. Feels like the whole house is never clean at the same time!!


    • Natalie December 14, 2019 / 9:35 am

      House cleaning is a tiring job. I give myself permission to do one room a day and keep my home tidy most of the time. The more I declutter, the less to clean so there is progress and reward 🙂


  19. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond December 15, 2019 / 12:52 am

    Hi Natalie what a wonderful November you have had. I so enjoy reading your monthly wrap up posts because you seem to fit in so much. Will you be doing a Wednesday Wellness link up next year? I’ve not participated for a while but would like to get back into it if you are. xx #MLSTL


    • Natalie December 15, 2019 / 9:31 am

      Hi Sue – Thank you for your encouraging comment. I plan to continue the Wellness link up in 2020 with some changes. It would be wonderful to have you join in. I’ll share the changes and optional prompts on my blog and via Leslie’s email soon.


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