Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When Calls...Nostalgia

Back in the day, when I followed the Christian faith, Born Again Christian, to be exact, I read and re-read the Canadian West Series by Janette Oke. To say that I loved these books was an understatement. A gross understatement. They were so endearing to me.

Now, way past the Christian days, and for certain reasons only my children and a special friend know, I long to read them once again. I tried to put them on hold at the Saskatoon library. They only have half of the six books in the series. I tried to order them only to find they were out of print. On to EBay.

I sought them, I found them and I conquered them. All of the books, printed long ago but in mint condition for the low low price of $10. They arrived yesterday. They sit in a prominent spot on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Waiting until a time in the short future when hopefully, they will become more personal. They will become new to me. They will be cherished. Perhaps read over and over by me. Perhaps my adult daughters will want to read them. Perhaps Athena too when she is older.

But just seeing them there on the shelf, just knowing they are mine forever is a comfort in an odd sort of way. Just beyond explanation at this time. I may divulge in the future. I may not.

Not A Great Day

Edited: Water was turned back on at noon today. Now we are under a boil water advisory. Again.
Coupled with the very frequent power outages make small town living a bit inconvenient.

To say yesterday was not a great day is possibly an understatement.

My last post lamented the too hot weather. Yesterday when I walked Athena to school, in the dense fog, it was -1. Yes. A woman we passed by walking her Grandchildren to school aptly stated "From the air conditioner to the furnace!" So true. I did tell you I won't complain about the weather and I won't.

Our water has been turned off by the town because of a water main break. We all managed to get our showering in before the water was turned off, luckily. But, try to brush your teeth, flush toilets, make coffee, all without water. This is not good. All indications are for the water to be back on by noon today. I sure take available, potable water for granted and I am not a happy camper when it is not. Eye opening. Shame on me. Moving on...

The most disappointing thing about the day was that I finally finished the first toque that I have ever knit. You may recall my problems with starting it. Everything went well from there until I tried it on the girl. (insert expletives at will) I cannot believe this. I will not use acrylic this time(what was I thinking?) and real wool, from sheep, is on sale this week for a sweet price. Back to the drawing board.

Anyone have a baby with a really wide flat head who wants a toque?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I am not joking. This weather is horrible. As I type this on September 23rd, SEPTEMBER 23rd!, It is 32 degrees Celsius. That is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The normal high for this time of year is 16 degrees Celsius, or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You may think to yourself that I will be complaining when it is -30. Decidedly, I will not.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Girl's Art


We had a great weekend. Lots of family, lots of fun. My Mom and Sister Dana came for a quick visit. They were in Saskatoon for my Neice's Judo. My Mother gifted me with some wonderful surprise cash. Always appreciated and always welcome. I have my eye on one of those Gel Pro kitchen mats but I haven't looked into it too deeply yet.

The dinner I had planned for Paul's birthday didn't turn out to my expectations but I was told the food was great. Not great to me. We had fall off the bone ribs but I felt they lacked flavor. My baked onions were a tad under baked. The new "World's best Braised Cabbage" recipe I tried was anything but. Oh well. But I must say I was pretty darn pleased with the cake. It was Ina Garten's recipe for Pumpkin Roulade. It looked wonderful and it tasted great and I am not even a dessert person.

Auntie Mona and Uncle Stephane brought Athena a bag full of goodies, as usual. Some play dough, lollipops, bracelet craft kit and some cat masks. I must say, the cat masks were the biggest hit and oddly enough, she hasn't even asked to eat one of the suckers.

We stayed up into the wee hours and probably drank too much wine, but when the Lindeman's Merlot came out, I just had to have a little bit... then a little bit more.

The next day was spent knitting on the couch in front of a fire. The temp had totally reversed itself and was a rainy 12 degrees C. Perfect for someone who didn't want to be doing too much. I made a healing chicken stew with knuckles (dumplings) which hit the spot.
Believe it or not, Athena and I were sound asleep by 8:30pm. We had a luscious 10 hour sleep. Just what the doctor ordered.

Today, back to business. Yoga was excellent. 75 minutes. Same video. It is getting easier but I just can't get Revolved Triangle these days. Must be too much bragging from a previous post. Half moon was much better today. Chaturanga is coming along nicely. That nagging pain in my neck/collar bone area is all but gone, thank goodness.

Laundry is done already. I even had the opportunity to do the ironing so I am way ahead of myself this week. Paul is taking me out for lunch in the Big City on Wednesday so I look forward to that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This And That

Let me first start out by saying THIS WEATHER IS NUTS!!
Today we broke a record in Delisle. We hit 35 degrees Celsius. That is 95 degrees Fahrenheit for you American readers. Our normal high for this time of year is 17 degrees Celsius, 62,6 Fahrenheit. All I can say is yuk. Enough already! We are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for this evening. Lovely. It's September Mother Earth. Cool off already! (Respectfully submitted)

Next up, yoga. I am so pleased with the amount of time I am able to dedicate to my practice. I logged over 4 hours this week so far and I am loving it. Loving it. But... and this is a big but to me, I am struggling with some sort of wonky shoulder thing. Pain right along my right collar bone up my neck a few inches. It is not bothersome at all until I raise my arms over my head for Sun Salutations. I wince every time. My sleep is badly interrupted by this annoyance. I have been up every night this week around 3:30 am due to it. I get up, take some ibuprofen, and try in vain to get back to sleep. I don't know what this is all about but I tell you I am very sick of it.

Speaking of lack of sleep, today Paul got a medical call at 5:15 am. For those who don't know he is a Firefighter/First Responder on the side. Anyway, he got a call and after having to awaken him to tell him his pager was beeping, I couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and put the coffee on and both of us have been up ever since, after going to bed quite late last night. He has been out of town most of the week so I was looking forward to having dinner with him tonight. And wouldn't you know it, just as I was putting the tilapia in the frying pan, his pager went off again. Fire this time. 3rd Fire this week. Ugghhh!

Athena's Kindergarten is going well. She is loving it so far, except one morning this week when I had to awaken her. She came down the stairs and said "Mom, I changed my mind. I want to be home schooled today." Umm, no. I counted the steps to school when I picked her up. 450 steps exactly. From our door to the school door. Not too bad. I'll be getting some nice fresh air in the winter, which I can't wait for. Especially on days like this.

On a more positive note, it is Paul's 45th birthday on Saturday. Our favorite people are coming for the weekend. Paul's sister Mona and Stephane, her husband. LOVE THEM! I am trying some new recipes and some old standbys as well. I'll post those along with some pictures on Monday.
My Mom and baby sister Dana are also stopping by, from Regina, on Saturday morning. That will be nice too. So needless to say, tomorrow will be filled with cooking prep and guest room making up and I hope to squeeze in another yoga practice. Perhaps not the 80 minute practice but something. Oh, I also get to talk to my sister on the phone tomorrow too. Another weekly highlight.

Happy weekend to you all. Here's hoping this weather breaks and we get some true fall weather soon. After all, the first day of Autumn is on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Unexpected Gift

This has been an odd year for weather. I think anyone in Canada can vouch for me. I hear the north eastern United States has been affected too. Cool spring, summer long in coming. Then it was really the summer that wasn't.

And now, we are halfway through September. We are nearing the Autumnal Equinox and the weather couldn't be nicer. In a usual year, my bedding plants would have been well past their prime. Gone to seed and likely pulled out. The perennials, too, would be long past their bloom period. But not this year.

My front flower beds are looking wonderful. The pots on the deck, still in full bloom. And this lovely unexpected gift greeted me this morning:

A late season bloom on a climbing rose. A flower just for me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't You Wish?

Don't you wish you could protect your children forever? From everything?
Don't you wish you could keep them from skinning their knees when they learn to run? From falling when they learn to climb? From getting their fingers pinched in the closet doors?
Don't you wish you could protect them from the inevitable nasty comments from other kids? When they are chosen last for the team in gym class? When they answer a question wrong in school and the other children chuckle under their breath?
Don't you wish you could save your girls from the pain when that special boy doesn't call when he said he would? When she stands at the front window waiting for his car to show up, and it never does? When she doesn't get asked to the school dance? When she doesn't make the team?
Don't you wish you could save her from making mistakes as a young woman? From choosing the wrong path? From seeing the wrong guy?
Don't you wish that when these things happen to her that you could take all the grief, all the hurt, all the pain upon yourself? To save her from it? Don't you wish that she could have all of your life experience in her young life and learn from it? To trust that you know because you have been there?
But, we can't. They will fall. They will have hurt feelings. They will not be chosen. They will be laughed at. They will get the answers wrong. They will make the wrong choices. They will get hurt. Just like you did. And you will love them anyway.They will be stronger women on account of it.
And they will think these same thoughts when they have children of their own.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yoga Update

My yoga practice has been going quite well. I manage to get on the mat about every other day.

A woeful thing happened though. My Yoga Practice for Energy VHS (yes, I still use the old format) does not work anymore. It got rewound a few too many times. Alas, it is in the garbage. Sigh.

So, I have been doing another tape called Yoga Conditioning for Your Life, again by Rodney Yee. It is about 80 minutes long. I has Sun Salutations and almost more standing poses than I can handle in one session. There are back bends, twists, seated poses as well. A very well rounded practice. In fact, during the practice I found my legs to be tested to their limit. Just as I was about to give up, we moved to some seated poses and twists.

The next morning, my glutes were oh so sore. My legs, moderately achy and my upper chest and triceps a little touchy. All confirming that I was indeed working the entire body. I am having a recurrent tightness down the right side of my neck and down across my collar bone. It is getting a bit better as the days go by but I'll have to watch it.

Twists are improving. One reason is that I am actually beginning the twist at the waist first, which is the correct way and another reason is my belly is shrinking so it is not in the way as much. This makes me happy. In fact, even in deep forward bending it isn't in the way. Yay me!!

Stamina is coming as well. I am not where I was years ago but I am slowly getting back there. One day at a time. Which, after all, is as it should be.


Friday, September 11, 2009

As Seen On TV

Wow, what a week. I go this new note pad from Michael's called Mom's Weekly Planner. It has changed my life! I'm not kidding.
It has ample space for filling in the little things one must do every day just to keep the family unit running smoothly. At the bottom there is another section for other notes you may need. Thanks Jen, my lovely daughter, for mentioning this too me. I LOVE IT!
I scheduled my weekly chores, added Athena's school days, a haircut, dance registration, and even exercise. The bottom section is filled with incidental jot notes. For instance, this week I have written:

*Send Lyse (sister in North Carolina) mahi mahi and salmon recipes
*Book suggestions from same sister : Water for Elephants, Happy Marriage, Fingersmith

*Listen to song by Jess (another lovely daughter) and Dann (her man)
*Eden and Jill (Lovely daughter #3 and Granddaughter respectively) over for dinner and golf on Sunday.

Have I mentioned that I love this notepad? Yes, okay, sorry.Only trouble with it is that I over scheduled my week. No fear though as there is a weekend entry spot as well. Pull tomatoes, empty Athena's pool, finish Athena's dress, knitting, groceries, library.

Moving on...

I was hanging up some ironing Athena engaged me in a conversation. It went like this:
A- "Mom, are those regular hangers?"
M-"Yes. Plastic hangers. Why?"
A- "Well you should use Wonder Hanger. It makes much more room in your closet. And if you use Bend a Hanger you can even shake your clothes and they won't fall off. They are the best hangers to get. We should buy them."
Then, in Walmart, another statement comes from that little 5 year old mouth:
"Oh, there is Smooth Away. Did you know it is good for guys too? Then you won't ever have to shave again!"
And this morning, while I was reading the paper she looked over at one of the flyers and said:
"Is that the Shark? Cuz that is the best thing you can have to keep your floors sparkling clean."
Ahem. I guess watching Scooby Doo on Teletoon Retro ain't the best idea. This is the first time she has ever seen commercials and she believes every word. That, my friends, is the power of advertising.
And I leave you with that. Have a nice weekend, and go out and get yourself a "Mom's Weekly Planner" notepad. Only 77 cents at your nearest Michael's craft store. ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knitting Woes

So, I was so excited to start a new knitting project. After discussing some things with Melody, I got the necessary supplies and started out to make a fall hat for Athena. Athena chose the color which luckily enough will match her snow suit.

I had to cast on twice, due to incorrect counting and a ribbing that just didn't work out. (Of course it didn't if the number of stitches was uneven.) Anyway, after I was sure the total of stitches was correct, I set off on my first project that wasn't a scarf or slippers or leg warmers. I was eager to see how it would turn out.

I bought the wrong size of circular needles and since I don't live in a city, I decided that I would do the round by using 4 double pointed needles instead. Fine by me. I kind of got the hang of them when I made these legwarmers for Athena thanks to some over the phone tutoring from my Mother. So off I went. Stealing little moments to do a few more rows. I had just begun really. I am not the fastest knitter. Yet.

I was sitting in the front room admiring the stitches. Pretty, straight rows. Not one error. Then it occurred to me that this hat looked way too small. I picked it all up, went up to Athena, who was already in bed and tried in vain to stretch it to fit on her little head. OH FOR PETE'S SAKE!

Now here it sits. All unwound. Waiting for me to cast on again. Ughhh! I know some of you knitters can see the tell tale sign of wool that has been unwound. Can't you? Tell me I am not the only one.

If I cross my fingers, maybe the third time will be the charm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall Harvest

The gardening season is drawing to a close. The afternoons are still warm but there is a definite chill in the air by dinner time. The slant of the late summer sun is changing daily. The sun sets early in the evening. Fall is on her way. Sweet fall.

The tomatoes are finally starting to turn red. We had our first taste on the weekend. Sun warmed, sun ripened tomatoes. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt. I'll bet you can taste them, can't you?
I dug all of the potatoes, pulled most of the beets. Carrots I will leave for a little longer. I may re-seed some spinach as well.

The sunflowers are in their glory, even though the undersides of the leaves are covered with aphids.

I thought I would have to make a trip to the city for produce on the weekend but Paul did some work for a Hutterite Colony and was rewarded with a wonderful bounty.

Athena was especially pleased with the radishes.

We pruned the trees this weekend too. We are trying to save the life of one of our birches by pruning way way back. We won't know if we have success until spring. Putting the yard to sleep in the fall is my favorite outside chore. Paul chopped a huge pile of wood and stacked it in anticipation of the cooler weather.

But now, we think of Autumn. Cool mornings, warm afternoons, wood smoke in the air. Shorter days, chilly nights. Warm soups and stews to keep us warm. Knitting by the fire in the evenings, talking over a glass of wine. These are the days!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh No.

Can't. Move. Arms. Legs ache.
Shouldn't have done the whole hour practice. Too sore. Too hot.
More wine. More Ibuprofen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Resurrected Yogini?

As you may or may not have read in my profile, I claim to be a resurrected Yogini. Claim.
As I stated yesterday I plan to practice the one hour session every day this week.
Well, I had to run to the city this morning to get Athena another pair of shoes to wear to school. I ended up getting some "sneakers", as she has come to call them. Thanks Lyse. I also got her some fall boots. And by fall boots I mean slightly warmer than "sneakers" and much less warm than the Sorrels she has for winter. Extravagant? Yes. Necessary? Definitely no. Moving on...

By the time I got home and was able to get to the "studio", it was almost 2:30 pm and the last thing I felt like doing was yoga. I did it anyway. Warm up was lovely. Standing poses were GREAT! Did I mention Revolved Triangle was firm, Warrior 3, balanced, Half Moon, excellent.
On to Sun Salutations. Chaturanga? Forget it. Again flopped to belly, barely able to push up into Upward facing Dog. Repeatedly. Still, I persevered. I sweated buckets. Highs of 34 Celsius today!! Ugghh. Needless to say, the heat really helped me in forward bending and even twisting. I was able to go beyond comfort and twist deeper than ever. Not in a bad way, don't worry Kai.
Excellent practice again. I did have my little love playing with her ponies beside me, half watching the video making comments on Rodney Yee getting sand on his back, wearing a bathing suit and what a long pony tail he has, but nevertheless...

School update: I neglected to mention that Mrs. Barber, Athena's teacher, said to me that she thought the glass containers in Athena's lunch kit were a bit cumbersome. That was yesterday.
This evening she called me to apologize and say that she agreed with me on the BPA in plastic, that she thinks we put too many chemicals on our bodies and in our food and further told me that she agreed with the glass containers after all. How nice.
I on the other hand, condensed her lunch to fewer containers and added a juice bag instead of her stainless steel water bottle. Its all about compromise I guess. (shrugs shoulders).

Tomorrow is her second day. Hopefully she eats some food. Tomorrow is expected to be equally as hot. Autumn, where are you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Practice and all is coming -- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Ahhh. Back on the mat today.
I had a great practice. I am still pleased with Half-Moon pose. I don't know how it happened but I am able to gaze at the top hand ever since I last posted about it. Small steps. Revolved Triangle was really good today, even though the belly still gets in the way. Baby steps there too. But today's highlight was Warrior 3. Nailed it. Had good balance. Hips aligned right as far as I could tell. Perhaps it was because I moved my mat a different direction in the studio. Facing North. You know, Feng Shui and all that. Who knows.
Practice was quite sweaty today as well. A whole hour. I intend to do the exact same practice each day this week. It is a well rounded practice that I really am enjoying now. Love Rodney Yee. Well, not leaving the old wife for a new wife things but I don't walk in his shoes so I won't judge.

Athena was exhausted after school as I knew she would be. And starving. No kidding. She at a half a roast turkey sandwich, some raspberries and a few crackers. She said she hadn't time for the rest because the bell rang. She'll have to speed it up or go hungry. Not a fan of that either. It is hard for her to eat her lunch in 10 to 15 minutes. She also came home with mosquito bites on her little cheek and neck. I sprayed her this morning. With chemicals. HATE doing that. Besides those two things, her first day went quite well.


Update: I walked to the school at lunch to see how she was doing, hoping to catch her on the playground. (Don't shake your head, 6 hours is a long time!) As I walked up she was just running out of the door to play. She said "Hi Mom. Are you picking me up cuz I don't want to go home yet." as she ran right past me to her friend. I guess all is well.

Today was Athena's first day of school.

Daddy made her an omelet for breakfast. Cheese omelet. Her favorite.

Then she went upstairs to brush her teeth and hair and to wash her face.

She got dressed and unlike Abby, she cared little about what she wore. Thanks for the dress Auntie Keri.

Then we all walked to school together.

She arrived at her classroom and got a picture with Mrs. Barber her teacher.

Exciting day!