Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 Revisited

Well, I initiated an email conversation with my family. 2 daughters, 4 sisters, 1 brother (and 1 sister in law) and my mother about whether or not they and their families would be getting the H1N1 vaccine and their reasons for doing so or not. Interesting. Copy and paste articles were passed on, debunked, debated and even made fun of. :( I posted a survey a few posts back and even though more that 125 people read it, only 7 responded.

It seems like information abounds. What to believe? What to do? After taking with my sister on the phone yesterday and talking a little excessively with one of my daughters (right Jen?) this is the conclusion I have come to:

We will not be getting the H1N1 vaccine. Now or ever . Paul will not either, even though he is the First Responder for our district and will likely come in contact with it a lot. We believe that our bodies have the power to heal and to keep us well. We further believe that there are many compounds in the adjuvanted vaccine that are not healthy for us and could be harmful. We are eating well, getting lots of rest, washing hands, doing daily nasal swabs and mouth rinses, taking our vitamins, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Will this prevent us from getting the illness? Probably not. (I actually think I had it, looking back on my Malaise post). Will these measures help us to heal quickly and get a milder illness? I think so. Will our bodies be stronger and our immune systems strengthened by fighting it. Definitely so.

Fear is often a motivator for people. I have been motivated by it in the past and likely will in the future as well. I choose to use common sense as an approach to this issue. Common sense and Lysol spray! ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Family Dinner and Yoga Update

Whew! What a weekend!

All my girls and their guys and their children came home for our late Thanksgiving Dinner. What joy. What a lot of work too.

Friday I was busy making pumpkin pies and preparing some of the other foods. Paul suggested, as he was walking out the door to go to the gym, that today might be a good day for me to make the French Onion Soup I had been talking about. Indeed. (sigh) Athena was great, playing for hours on end while I cooked, cleaned and got the guest rooms ready.

Jen and Jordan and Abby and Josie arrived later that afternoon and we had a delicious, if I do say so myself, spaghetti and meatball dinner, complete with salad with heart of palm (Thanks Mona) and garlic bread. Can you say carb overload? Who cares.

Next day I had to get the turkey dinner ready. No small task I tell you. One highlight of the day was that I got to do an hour or so of yoga with Jen. She was a trooper too. Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Shortly after lunch, Jill, Clint and Eden showed up and shortly after that Jess and Dann. Full house. The little girls were so good. They played outside in the cool fall air. They watched Tinkerbell and ate popcorn and later they all grabbed one of Athena's instruments and gave us an impromptu show. Too cute for words.

Athena 5 Abby4 Josie 2 Eden 5

Can you tell the two in the middle are sisters?

The dinner was good. I stuck to what I knew. All but the gravy. My sister Lyse gave me a recipe with Cognac and cream in it. Delicious. It was a hit. Even Jill liked it. ( Jill is my 3rd daughter who really really really liked everything to be "the same as it was last year and the year before that...") But, in the flurry of activity, I forgot to put out the table centre piece. The flowers remained wrapped in cellophane and the bosc pears in the produce bag. Candles, unlit, unused.
So yesterday, after Paul and I cleaned the house, I made two bouquets. One for the kitchen and a small one for Athena's room. It was kind of like a "You did it!" gift to myself.
Later in the evening when the girls were all bathed and sleeping, we went to the family room and tested our vocals with some Karaoke. Paul and Jordan stayed up into the wee hours singing and playing guitar on Jordan's Wii. I think the Southern Comfort spurred their efforts a bit.

Anyway, next morning we had brunch and the company was gone by 10am. What did Jen and Jordan forget this time? Toothbrushes? No. A stray sock? Nope. They forgot the pad you stand on for the Wii. Luckily for Jordan, Paul will take it with him to Regina when he goes for business later this week.
Sunday was spent cleaning bathrooms, washing floors, changing beds, doing laundry and vacuuming carpets. We had a simple shrimp dinner and we all went to bed early. These weekends take a lot out of me but they are so worth it. I would like to either have them at one of my daughter's houses some time or just go out to eat at a restaurant, merely for the opportunity to sit and visit with my family, especially my little granddaughters.
And on a yoga note, today I practiced Yoga for Intermediates. Jen was asking me about it on Saturday and I told her I hadn't done that class for over a year. Today I got to thinking that I hadn't done that class since we lived here or in our previous houses but had done it last over 7 years ago. 7 years! Today I popped it in the VCR and away I went. It was so good. Lots of poses I never practice. Forearm balance, handstand, headstand, shoulder stand. I am sure I will be sore tomorrow right in the middle of my upper back in the thoracic region. I will brace for the pain. I did really well though. I didn't hold the inversions as long as required and I only did two of the three Upward Bows but all in all it was a great workout. I may have even got some sweat on my mat. Heehee.
Afterword: I would have posted pictures of my daughters and their men but I changed a setting on my camera (thanks Jen ;)) and the pictures were all blurry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1 Survey

I, like everyone else, have been hearing and reading a lot about the H1N1 virus and how it is supposed spread quickly and fiercely. We are urged to get the vaccine by health and government officials.
My question today is:

Will you be getting the H1N1 vaccine?

So anyone who happens to stop by today,even if you have never commented before, please leave a comment along with where you live and tell me if you will get it or not. If you are so inclined, feel free to support your decision here too.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He Should Have Come With Me

On Monday after school, Athena and I went to the library at her school. They were having a Book Fair. She led the way for me and we entered the room.
No one else was there. Not a soul. It was me, Athena and a room full of books for sale.
Now some women have problems with buying too many shoes, or clothes or purses and scarves. Hi Lyse. Not me. I have a problem with books. I purge my collection regularly but when the Scholastic book orders come home from school, when the Saskatoon Symphony has their annual used book sale or when a book fair is on, I lose all control. I don't buy books that I know will only get read once or twice. I don't buy books with TV or movie characters in them. I tend to gravitate toward classics. Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie. Books like that.
My very biggest weakness is books about my country. Books about Canada. I can't resist them.
And on this particular Monday afternoon, I didn't. I bought M is for Mountie, Saskatchewan Facts, The History of Canada, (all three volumes) and the list goes on. I spent $84.
Paul should have come with me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

We found wood at last. Someone from Saskatoon was moving and didn't want to leave all of his wood for the new owner. Paul and his friend got a truck and trailer and loaded it all up. Almost 2 full cords. One full cord of seasoned birch and another cord of mixed birch, poplar and pine. Not to mention enough kindling to last us all winter.

Stacking and sorting the wood was a lot of work. A lot. Athena was a big help. We were all tired and hungry and sore after getting the job done. Of course Paul did the lions share as usual. Tough guy.

We had a beautiful day on Saturday. Warm and sunny with nary a breath of wind. Perfect. All the patio furniture is neatly stored away. The garden, fully put to rest. Paul pulled the last of the onions and a few carrots that got missed. We aso washed all the windows inside and out. We have a lot of windows. It was a tough job. Then we enjoyed our last glass of wine/beer on the deck for the 2009 season. But, you never know. The warm weather could hold.

Athena played in the sunshine. Note the siwash she is wearing. My own Mother made that for my little sister probably about 35 years ago. And it lives again! Perfect condition. I appreciate these hand knits more now than ever.

Check this Out

This poor guy slammed into one of our front windows on Friday afternoon. And by slammed I mean SLAMMED. It was so loud that it sounded like a boulder being thrown at the window. Look at his talons. Fierce!

Alas, it wasn't. It was this Broad Winged Hawk.

Paul went out to check him out. We thought he would die. He didn't. It took a few hours but he was eventually well enough to fly away. Check out his poor beak. Looks like it got broken on impact. Hopefully he can still rip apart his prey. Lovely thought.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

News Break

We interrupt this blog with a Yoga News Update:

Today I was able to go into Upward Bow. (Urdhva Dhanurasana) for the first time since my surgery last September. Woo Hoo!

On another note, Paul practiced my 75 minute Yoga Conditioning for Life class with me this morning. And he completed it all. And he did pretty well at it too. And sweat dripped off of him onto the mat.

Two things to say about that: Yuk! and I am glad that he bought his own mat and didn't use mine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Early Winter

Snow fell again last night and into this morning. Not a lot, but enough to make the highways slippery and to make one little girl happy!

This may be the earliest time of year she has donned her snow suit and played outside in the snow. Prior to this she had been playing with her blocks. When I went to get the camera to snap a few pictures of her, I encountered this scene.

Her Duplo people peeking out through the patio door, watching her play. Too cute. The weather is supposed to warm up significantly this weekend. Enough to melt the snow and finally give us some sweater weather. This is great news! We can finally give the windows a wash before winter really sets it.

Yoga Update:
Paul has started practicing Yoga with me. I know, I can't believe it either. I have been pestering, or shall I say, suggesting, that he do it for years now. Being a man he said "Only if we do nude yoga." Of course that didn't happen. So now that he has ulterior motives and a definite goal in mind, he is finally on the mat.

We started out with simple stretching asanas and now he has graduated to Rodney Yee's Yoga Core Cross Train. We did it together the other morning. Note: I do not particularly enjoy boat pose. He is coming along nicely but his hamstrings are so tight. Really really tight. But as Sri Pattabhi Jois has so wisely said, "Practice and All Is Coming." Yes indeed.

My practice is coming along nicely too. Feeling stronger. Revolved Triangle is still a struggle these days and I haven't attempted Upward Bow since resuming my practice. But I will soon. Practice and all is coming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Giving Thanks

Canadian Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday and I get to celebrate it twice this year.

We drove down to Regina on Sunday and stayed with Paul's sister Mona. Almost the entire family was there. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up. Paul has three brothers and one sister and the boys ain't so good at keeping each other up to date on their lives. After dinner was over they busted out the PS2 and we took turns singing Karaoke. What fun. Great for laughs. I couldn't help but take a picture of all of the teenager shoes in the front entrance. It made me smile.

My three girls, and my little girl will be celebrating another Thanksgiving on the 24th. It was the soonest date that we could all get together. When you have adult children who live in different cities it becomes more of a struggle to get together but then too, more of a joy.

But anyway, a few things I am thankful for this year, in no particular order are:

My husband. Great guy. He drives me nuts at times but I love him still.

My baby Athena. Growing by the day. Seeming more grown up by the week.

My daughter Jen, son (in law) Jordan and my granddaughters Abby and Josie. Love them all. Abby and Josie love their Papa like mad. LIKE MAD I tell you. Not as fond of me. That's life.

My daughter Jess. Don't see her much. She's very busy. The calls on the phone are basically what we have and I look forward to them.

My daughter Jill and my granddaughter Eden. Jill too is busy. More so than normal. And Eden. Ah, Eden. A little handful that one but she's so unique.

Living in Canada, the greatest country there is. Health Care. Safety. Freedom. Beauty.

A steady income and the ability to stay home and do what I do.

My extended family and Paul's too. As I was looking around on Thanksgiving, I recalled how we were when we were all teenagers. Time has truly flown by.

The Tudors. The only TV show I watch.

That manufacturers are printing labels on kids clothes so I don't have to cut tags off of everything. (I do not like tags)

And I am thankful for the women in the blog world who continue to inspire in so many way.

Happy Days!

Friday, October 9, 2009

11 Days In

Things I have learned 11 days into the school year.

* I can get a lot done in the morning before we have to leave at 8:35

*The walk to school from our front door to her door is 450 steps. Exactly.

*Athena does not eat that well on school days. Partly because she is given only 15 minutes to get her lunch, unpack it, eat it, clean up and go outside. Not enough. Not for this girl.

*She is poky. Last to come out of her classroom. When she does come out she has her school shoes still on. (Send her back in) Where is your backpack? (Send her back in) Did you remember your mitts? (Again, send her back in)

*When we are out of the school and I am sure she has all of her things, she RUNS. Runs across the school yard, through the breezeway, down the street and around the corner until she is home.

*She is getting into the routine of washing well with soap and water as soon as she gets home.

*Although she has school full days (every other day) she has only used the school bathroom once.

*On school days she is over active when she gets home. Too much having to sit and listen for a girl with her kind of energy.

*She sleeps well. Very well. 11 hours most days. Then she'll do a 12 hour once a week.

*She is learning a lot of not so good stuff at school. I am teaching her to differentiate between the good stuff and the bad. (the stuff she is learning that is not so good is from other kids)

*They sing Oh Canada every morning. Great! I am a die hard patriot. They also say The Lord's Prayer. In public school. Not sure what I think about that.

*She misses me a lot and I miss her too.

* I still hate leaving her there. I still think about homeschooling. Almost every day. Almost.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcoming Autumn

The weather has definitely chilled considerably. We made it just above the freezing mark today. When I walked Athena to school this morning (which I still hate. Not walking her there but leaving her there) the air was crisp and cool. The frost was heavy on the Virginia Creeper and on the grass. It sparkled in the sunlight. It was a beautiful sight and so nice to be outside. Nice until we got to the open field, then Athena's comment summed it up perfectly. "Mom, tears are coming out of my eyes." Not tears of joy from the sheer beauty but because of the biting wind. Myself, I had frozen ears and finger tips. Don't think we are quite ready for this yet. No sense complaining though now is there? Onward.

Although I am not a baker I had some pumpkin to use up, so I did. I made these wonderful Pumpkin Scones with Ginger molasses glaze. Yummy. Not sweet at all, which is what we like around here. Paul couldn't stop commenting about them and had the willpower to only have one. He has a fitness goal in mind and is doing so well in keeping with it.

I also made some pumpkin bread, which we haven't tried yet. I wrapped it and put it in the freezer. It smelled wonderful as it was baking. The scent of cloves and nutmeg filled the house. Ah, the smells of fall.

The weather is indeed growing colder but no need to disconnect from nature. Not at all. I made Athena a garden to play with through the long cold months ahead. So far she has used her Wee Felt Folk and her horses to walk along the mossy banks, dip their toes or hooves into the waters and walk along the stone paths. I got the idea from The Magic Onions blog. Lots of good Waldorf ideas over there to be sure.

And lastly, I leave you with these pictures. It is what was occurring as I walked to pick her up from school. Beautiful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


That picture shows just about how I have been feeling lately. It started last Wednesday afternoon. All was well and then suddenly I got the chills. I almost cried thinking about having to walk to the school to pick up Athena. It was cold out but not as cold as my body felt it was, if that makes any sense. Then the headache came. Not a pounding headache or even a particularly painful one. It was more of an annoyance than anything. Next day around noon it was all I could do to lie on the couch for an hour. I finally took some ibuprofen and got some relief.
To make a long boring story short, I have felt kind of crappy all week. Headachy, weak, tired. I am sure I have been in bed before 10 every night. Maybe even 9 some days. Today I still feel under the weather but definitely better.
All was not lost. We got the yard put to sleep for winter. Two full mornings of picking the last carrots and beets. Pulling the bedding plants, trimming the perennials. Filling the bird feeders and putting the sand toys, wind chimes, and lawn chairs away. We took down the canopy too. Went to swim class. Had our first wonderful beef stew and sat by the fire. It was a good weekend.
I also went to a yarn shop last week. First time. What a great selection. Beats a craft store any day. I got some beautiful washable wool for my second attempt at a toque for Athena. I also got a wool silk blend for one for myself. I finished one of the slippers I am working on for myself but have yet to cast on the second one.
Today I got the sweaters out from storage, laundered them and got them on the shelves. Wool socks are out too. Summer clothes put away in containers for next summer, if we get a summer.
Temperatures here have plummeted. We will fall to -8 overnight tonight with highs only near freezing. Flurries are in the forecast. And worst of all we are almost out of firewood and are having trouble finding a supply. This won't do. Around these parts, fires are frequent. Started in the late afternoon as the family settles in for the evening. Lots of playing Lincoln Logs for the little one, lots of knitting and reading for me and reading for Daddy too.
Today, Paul has an important meeting that could determine his future. He has been working so hard, moving toward that goal. I am proud of him no matter the outcome. Athena is in school today and I am keeping the home fires burning, as usual. I am off to make Tyler Florence's Ultimate French Onion Soup for lunch. Mmmmm, can't you just taste it?
Hope all is well with you. Have a great day.