Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Golden Memories

2 years ago today Canada won Olympic Gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics........ here are some of the photos that remind me of the amazing roller coaster ride that game was, the amazing scenes that unfolded around the city when we won and the whole feeling of the Olympics (which we were able to afford?).........A far far cry from how it feels in this province today......(but I can`t go there tonight).

Good times.......

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bad News Good News

I am happy to be alive tonight. (not to be too dramatic and also that is not the good news ;)

The Bad News

I got sick over three weeks ago with a bad chest cold and stopped working out.

And then one week became two.

And when I was feeling ready to go back there were no classes that fit my schedule.

I have tried to stay on top of my eating but I have had a lot of of lunch meetings at nice restaurants.  I did try to make wise choice......really I did.

But I was worried that my oh so recently won weight loss and fitness levels were at risk.  I didn't even want to get on the scale or go to class.

The Good News

I went back to class tonight and despite a niggling little fear about having a heart attack and dying in my new shoes (which given what an ordeal I went through to get them it would have been a crying shame to die after only using them once).

I did not actually die.....proven by this blog post.......

I didn't exactly rock the workout, in fact, given the number of new routines I was downright spazzy at times, and my right leg (or left leg for that matter) may not be jolie-esque (and between you and me are her knees not bony?) they did hold up pretty well.

I may not be able to walk tomorrow but tonight....tonight I feel pretty good.

I am back.

Oh and I stood on the scale when I got back from exercising, drinking a litre of water and having dinner and I was stealing myself to see a big jump.............. and there was a jump but a really small and very erasable one (in fact I am hoping by the time I get back on the scale in the morning some of those pounds will already be history ;) because we all know it's best practice to weigh ourselves naked first thing in the morning before even one sip of tea. Yes?

I may be 42 and I may be a late adopter of the whole exercise thing but the bug has bitten....and bitten hard.  I have decided to run a road race in the summer - I can't wait to start pounding the pavement and who knows where that road will end.

It is truly amazing to me that this is my life....... who'd have thunk it??

PS - Am I the only person who cannot spell exercise......maybe that's why it took me so long to get with the program! Sheesh.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Personal is Universal

The words in the title of this post where spoken by poet and friend Carl Leggo and it resonates so deeply in my heart .

My weekend was just like that.

1. Our good friends the Hofs moved apartments.......just down the hall in the same building.  While (st) this move was unique in many ways - it was in many ways - just like all moves....... busy, hard work, exciting, full of promise of new beginnings, friends working together, laughter.......

2. My kids cleaned their rooms......because Mom said so!  I might often be tempted to turn a blind eye and pick my battles but eventually I am affronted by all the good things my kids have been given (often through the fruits of Allan and my hard work) and take such poor care of.  And then I do the Mom freak out thing and set a deadline and tonight our house is clean.......they cleaned their rooms and I cleaned the whole downstairs.  I am sure this story is universal in some form or other.

3. Allan and I had our quality time in the grocery store this week.  Like many working/studying parents of busy kids we take our moments when we get them....this week it was at Save-On Foods and the drive there and back.

4. We sat passively and watched the unreality that is the Oscars......mindless escapism, sitting on the couch....eating appetizers.  Nothing special and yet nothing unique.

5.  I used past-their-best veggies and made hearty and healthy vegetable stock.....isn't that amazing?  I love using the way-too-much-celery we bought because we are too busy to coordinate our shopping trips and making them into something that will nourish my family and friends.

6. Talking about the weather.  It was a crazy weather weekend here - like off the charts...with huge winds, sun, rain, hail, snow..... It is a universal thing to talk about the weather, it is the universal conversation starter/filler.

So that's how I choose to see my very ordinary/mundane weekend........as connected to many other weekends just like it for many families around the world and through the years.

Friday, February 24, 2012


There is a ginormous puddle that forms outside my office every time it rains.

I love watching how the children look at it with a gleam in their eyes just wanting to jump in and splash....and the parents trying to grab them before they do.

A few minutes ago a little group of kids was going out with a teacher.....to jump in puddles in the rain!  Fully suited up in muddy buddies these are true Westcoast kids who know exactly what to do with puddles of all sizes.

Here are some other puddle jumping photos (thanks to google images) to put a smile on your face this very wet westcoast Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


 I have been feeling a distinct lack of spiritual discipline in my life lately. 

It is not a crisis of faith at all but I have stopped regularly giving myself time to focus on spiritual/faith matters.  

To be honest I have never been good at it.

At Christmas time I so enjoyed the advent reader I got and the daily minutes I took to read theological thoughts and scripture.

And then nothing again......and truthfully I am not even going to church much at the moment.  I pray a lot and have our little Soup Group community that I love and care for and pray for.

But I feel spiritually restless and ungrounded and yet expectant of things in the future.

So as Lent approached I wandered how to use this traditional time of preparation for Easter to reboot spiritually or at least in spiritual discipline.  I came across a book by Chris Seay called  "A Place at the Table - 40 days of solidarity with the poor".  This peaked both my spiritual and social justice interests and I ordered it from the mighty Amazon empire.

It is a 40 day journey of personal spiritual discipline as well as an exploration of what it means to be rich when most of the world is poor.  It challenges the reader to eat simply, rice and vegetables and beans as much as possible so as to approximate, albeit weakly, the experience of the poor.  It also encourages us to look at our spiritual poverty.

It's only Day 2 but it feel good to have committed to a journey....to regain a spiritual foothold in my life. 

Yesterday I sat and watched the sunrise as my journey started and was humbled by the beauty and peace that I live in.  Today I took my book and had my few minutes of reflection by the river as the sun once again bathed our City in it's warmth and light.

If you want to check out Chris Seay's book or hear his daily journal click  here http://www.chrisseay.net/ecclesia/daily-journals.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancake Day

I am working a 14 hr day today so I don't think there is a pancake in my day but I didn't want YOU to miss out......

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts: the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It's a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Shrove Tuesday is sometimes called Pancake Day after the fried batter recipe traditionally eaten on this day.

But there's more to Shrove Tuesday than pigging out on pancakes or taking part in a public pancake race. The pancakes themselves are part of an ancient custom with deeply religious roots.


Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving that Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them.
When a person receives absolution for their sins, they are forgiven for them and released from the guilt and pain that they have caused them.
In the Catholic or Orthodox context, the absolution is pronounced by a priest.
This tradition is very old. Over 1000 years ago a monk wrote in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes:
In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him.
Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes

Shrove Tuesday celebrations

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it's the last day before Lent.
Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren't allowed in Lent.

Giving up foods: but not wasting them

During Lent there are many foods that some Christians - historically and today - would not eat: foods such as meat and fish, fats, eggs, and milky foods.
So that no food was wasted, families would have a feast on the shriving Tuesday, and eat up all the foods that wouldn't last the forty days of Lent without going off.
The need to eat up the fats gave rise to the French name Mardi Gras ('fat Tuesday'). Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

The origin of pancake racing

Pancake races are thought to have begun in 1445. A woman had lost track of the time on Shrove Tuesday, and was busy cooking pancakes in her kitchen.  Suddenly she heard the church bell ringing to call the faithful to church for confession. The woman raced out of her house and ran all the way to church; still holding her frying pan and wearing her apron.

Going for gold in the pancake Olympics

One of the most famous pancake races is held at Olney in Buckinghamshire over a 415 yard course. The rules are strict; contestants have to toss their pancake at both the start and the finish, as well as wearing an apron and a scarf. The race is followed by a church service.

Source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/lent_1.shtml#h2

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scientific Sunday

This meeting (American Association for the Advancement of Science) was on in Vancouver all week. I heard several stories relating to it on CBC and a friend posted a link on her FB to the Family Science Fair that was open to the public over the weekend and was free.

Having had a crazy week and a busy Saturday we brokered a deal with the kids to get their homework sorted out on Sunday morning so we could catch the Canada Line to the Vancouver Convention Centre to have a look at what the best science brains from around the world had to say.

There was quite the line-up to get in which was comforting - we are not the only geeky family in Vancouver as it turns out. 

There were dozens of booths, some live shows and demonstrations, book sellers and other resources all linked to Science in one way or another.  So much interesting information.

We happened to pass the Canadian Science Booth and saw that Jay Ingram from Daily Planet (on the Discovery Channel) was about to host a quiz show with some of Canada's top Scientists!  David is a particular fan of Jay's and a devoted Daily Planet viewer so he was very excited.  We got front row seats and chatted to Jay and David has his photo taken with him and then we were thoroughly entertained by the quiz show.......and somewhat educated on various topics!

Our brains full of all things scientific, we took a little walk around the Convention Centre and saw the new snow on the north shore mountains - it wasn't raining but it was chilly!
And then headed for

For some delicious coffee, hot choc and goodies

We did a little photography downtown before heading home

A lovely Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Duck Duck

In this course I am teaching "Math, Science and Social Studies in Early Childhood Education" I had to do two Saturday classes because of an early Spring Break.  Saturday classes are long - 6 hours of teaching after a long week of work for all of the students and I.  So in an effort to both give them a relevant experience and to break up the Saturday I chose to take them to the bird sanctuary  just south of Richmond on Westham Island

When I got up this morning is was blowing a gale and pouring rain. 

Just perfect for a walk on an exposed marsh on the edge of the ocean....... NOT!

While (st) it was cold - only 4 degrees and very windy, the rain held off for most of the walk.  I enjoyed being out in the wind - my friend Audrey called it "bracing" and it was indeed.

It is such a lovely place to wander and we saw so many birds.

Although many of my students have lived here longer than I have, none of them had ever been there and they had a wonderful time and I think many of them will return again,

Maybe on a sunny day.

SO many ducks

This guy was showing me his sore foot

Crazy Sandhill Cranes...they once tried to eat Lindsay when she was a baby
View from viewing hut

A heron

A pair of eagles