Friday, January 29, 2010

Olympic Spirit

We are not a sports family. Not at all. We like to participate. Kind of. We like skating, hiking, biking, walking, yoga, swimming and snowshoeing. We have yet to snowshoe this year as we have little snow in the fields. Paul plays hockey and does some mountain biking. Now he lifts weights and runs. He runs a lot.

I don't think we plan to watch the Olympics. Maybe bobsled because Athena learned about it at school. But, we are all about the Olympic Mascots these days.

We were in the store and she saw the three mascots. Key ring stuffed mascots. For TEN dollars each. She said she would use her piggy bank money if she could please have one. She chose Miga.

Then yesterday we looked on the official website of the Vancouver 2010 Games and found a cut out of Sumi. Which I put together.

And today, I had the idea to create a Quatchi out of some scrap felt. He turned out okay if you don't look closely at my "hurry and get this done blanket stitching".

I had never heard of these mascots but apparently kids in Kindergarten at Delisle Elementary watch a lot of You Tube. (sigh) In fact, when she was telling me their names, she thought they were Zoomy, Meeka and Crotchy. I am glad the name is not indeed Crotchy.

You can check out the cute video here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DressGreen Etsy Goodness

My Etsy package arrived yesterday and I couldn't be more happy. I have searched high and low for products such as these. I have tried every product from the Drug stores made especially for sensitive skin. I have tried many organic products too. Some were better than others and none where what I was looking for.

I tried every product last night. I knew the true test would be today. Would I have redness and irritation? Maybe a full blown rash on my face or hands?

Not any hint of a reaction. I am in LOVE!

The soap was wonderful. It didn't sting my hands at all. There wasn't that familiar residue when rinsed off. The wood soap dish is beautiful too, don't you think?

The body lotion... amazing. My skin was so soft. So soft that my husband commented on it, not knowing I had tried something new. The foot balm, excellent.

The facial moisturizer was great too. And the lip balm. As a matter of fact, I don't think I ordered the lip balm. I think Lauren threw it in.

The jars are all so pretty. Simple. Clean. And the package came wrapped in beautiful shades of green tissue paper. A real delight for the senses.

I am so overly excited about these products I have to shout it from the rooftop. Now I hope that she'll continue to make them or I may just cry.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Year of Lovely Things

My Mom used to knit. She used to sew. She used to do ceramics and decoupage. She used to do a lot of things. And now that she is a retired school teacher/Vice Principal... she doesn't do any of those things anymore.Until now!

She started knitting again and as luck would have it, Athena was the first recipient of her handwork. Lucky us! She chose to make this lovely pullover sweater with a hood. It is so bright and beautiful. It is very soft and comfy.

It is a little too big for Athena but we don't care. She can wear it longer.

You might remember this post. She made that siwash for one of my sisters probably 35 years ago. The sweater is still as lovely as it was back then. Perhaps even more lovely as it has been passed down over time. Through the years. From generation to generation.
Made with love and oh so appreciated.

Thanks Mom!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Land Of Counterpane

Well, we got snowed in as predicted. Paul has been out shovelling the drive no less than 4 times in the past two days. I am afraid he'll have to do it again before long. (He is the Emergency First Responder for our town and area and cannot be snowed in)

Good thing we planned the weekend in. Athena got sick. I should have known. I should have trusted her. She cried on Friday that she "Spends way too much time at school" and that she'll "miss me too much if she goes." Saturday she had a fever all day. I hesitated to give her ibuprofen but when she got the headache and sore throat, I gave her a half dose. She was tired all day and spent some time in bed playing with her toys and drawing. Check out the fantastic Scarlet Macaw.

We read oodles of books. She watched a movie, had a 90 minute bath, at supper and was off to bed.

She recalled a poem in "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson titled
The Land of Counterpane. Of course we had to read it too.
And put two pillows at her head. And have all her toys before her lay. Apple slices and water as well. Today she is somewhat improved but still rather lethargic. It sucks to be sick on the weekend.

The Land of Counterpane
When I was sick and lay a-bed
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I'd watch my leaden soldiers go
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes through the hills.

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets,
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill
And sees before him dale and plane
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Robert Louis Stevenson
(Grrr. Very frustrated Blogger won't let me adjust the spaces properly on the poem. Apologies.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Settling In

I've been nesting. Not nesting in the "I'm about to have a baby" nesting. More like, I plan to stay in this house for about a year more so I want it all clean and organized sort of way. I started with the heart of the home... the kitchen. There is something so satisfying to me about having a clean, well organized, smoothly running home. Everything in its place.

I amassed no less than 4 boxes of unwanted kitchen things, which my daughter Jill went through already. She took some nice pieces. We had to hide the box she took from my husband as he thinks I give too much stuff away. Why are you giving away these onion soup bowls? I could hear it already. I cleaned every cupboard, went through my spices and discarded old ones. Filled up the jars that were empty. All neatly arranged with no labels, in no particular order. I like that too. I can tell which ones they are without having a label on them. Labels get in the way of the beauty of the thing. Know what I mean?

The cookbooks were sorted through. Some given away. The loose recipes torn from magazines were all sorted through, hole punched and organized as well. Loose recipes put into a new recipe box my sister gave me. All so readily available and easy to access.

I sorted Athena's toys and books as well. She had so many presents for Christmas and her birthday that she doesn't even know what people gave to her. I put half of the gifts away, to be brought out at a later date. She won't notice. The child doesn't really play with toys, won't really miss them, will she? Auntie Jill bought her an Indian Play set, which she loves. But speak of fusion, can you see Dora and Diego being confronted by a bear? I dare say!

My oldest daughter Jen bought me this Monthly Breast Exam aid from Curves fitness. It helps a woman to do her breast exams and is incredibly sensitive to anything it comes across. We tried it with sugar on the counter top. Amazing. Needless to say, I was kind of nervous to try it. What if I found something? I waited and waited and finally tried it the other day. Quickly. Very quickly. I found nothing. Perhaps next month I'll muster the courage to do a thorough exam.

Oh, and I lost 12 pounds since September. This is thrilling to me as I lost it without dieting. I attribute it to walking Athena to and from school and my yoga practice. I certainly is not from cutting back on wine. (rolls eyes) My clothes fit so much better, I feel better and I look better.

It has been unnaturally warm her for January. And very dry. We have negligible amounts of snow. That is about to change. We have a Colorado Low forecast for the weekend. Lots of snow. We are keeping our fingers crossed because we are longing to make a snowman. So we have stocked the fridge, filled the wine rack, picked up tons of library books and a few movies.

We plan to skate on the backyard rink, roast hot dogs over the fire pit, snuggle, read, knit, play games. No other plans than to just BE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maybe Its The Moon

I tried. I really did. I put on a tape. I positioned myself on the mat. I started the Ujayii breathing. Did a few asanas. I walked over to the machine, pulled out the tape and put in another. I sat down in lotus, focused my attention, made my intention. A few asanas later I was back at the machine. I turned it off.

I put some music on the CD player instead. Ahh, that was better. A few downward-facing dogs later I just wanted to make soup. Its true.

Maybe it is my monthly rhythms. Maybe I am just a bit lazy today, or...

Maybe its the waning moon.
Whatever the case, I chose to honor my body and its wishes today. And in just a few short minutes I'll be eating some lovely Cauliflower Cheese Soup, courtesy of Jamie Oliver.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I did everything I could this morning to avoid my yoga practice. I walked around the house looking for any little thing that needed to be done. I had pencilled in "Yoga" on today's To-do list. Twice more for the week. I did not want to practice.

After finding nothing that required my urgent attention, I finally changed and went up to the studio. I plugged in my little TV/VCR and looked through the spines of all the tapes I had. I couldn't muster the gumption to do the whole 75 minute yoga practice I had been doing. Relaxation yoga? No. Meditation? No. Upper body? Lower body? Power Yoga? No, no and no.

I finally decided to go with Sacred Yoga, Vinyasa Flow for Beginners, featuring Rainbeau Mars.

Lo and behold, it was exactly what I needed. It was so good to practice with a beginner's mind. Detailed instruction, as if I had never done the asanas before. New voice. New perspective. It only lasted 40 minutes but that was okay. I felt light, refreshed, renewed. She kept reiterating something like let go of the things that no longer serve you. Interesting indeed.

I will get back to a more rigorous practice later in the week, but today she met me right where I was at. And it was good.

Friday, January 15, 2010

6 Years Old

Happy 6th Birthday Athena
I know it is cliche to say it, but time really does fly by quickly.

Wasn't she just born? Didn't she just start walking? Didn't she just start Kindergarten? Oh, wait, she did just start Kindergarten.

This little girl has brought so much joy to out lives. Joy beyond measure. We couldn't have seen it coming.
A truly unique child, this one is. Like I've said before, she can amuse herself for hours with a piece of string or a rock.

She hums all day long. She imagines. She dreams. She is a really good child and I don't say that about too many children.

She lost her first tooth this week. Of course, it is lost in the snow somewhere. We'll never find it.

She is a sweet sweet spirit. One who I am lucky enough to be able to guide through this life.
What an unexpected beautiful gift we have been given.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year

Happy New Year!

We have been busy as you all were I am sure. We had a great Christmas/Solstice party with all of the girls and their guys coming home. The food was good. The children had loads of fun. Everything was just as it should be. Having our get together took some pressure off of me to serve the perfect Christmas dinner. Beef tenderloin is so easy to prepare and so delicious. It was the most relaxed get together I think we have ever had.
And the next day all signs of Christmas had disappeared from my house. All that is, except for all of the gingerbread men and chocolates still left to be eaten. I am sure they will end up in the garbage as we are not sweets type of people. I had to at least pretend to do some baking.

The weather has been oh so cold and we have so little snow that Paul has barely shovelled. Once or twice tops. With the cold and the lack of snow, our snowshoes sit in the basement waiting to be used. I wish that we lived somewhere with much more snow and much milder winter temperatures, like... the east coast maybe?
I have been asked by four people already what my New Year's Resolutions are. It seems I have had little chance to even think about it. This coming up year has the potential to be one of the most difficult yet. So with that potential change, I would really need to cultivate a spirit of peace and simplicity and joy.
Another thing I am going to work on is healthy eating every day, and that includes cutting waaaaaaaaay back on the wine.

I would also like to read more. A lot more. Not so many parenting books and homeschooling manuals and cook books. More fiction.
I am getting more serious about my yoga practice this year. So far so good. Yoga practice every day. And geesh, my 75 minute practice has been a little tough to get back into these past 3 days. Worth it though, even though I felt like crying more than once on day two. ;)
So lets see, I suppose my resolution/intention this year is to create a healthy mind/body/spirit.
Sounds good to me.
And tomorrow we are off to Regina to care for Abby and Josie while Jen and Jord are away to Mexico. Should be a spectacular week to quit drinking wine and cultivate peace. Of course with 3 little ones I'll have lots of time to read and practice yoga too. Wish me luck.
Happy Days!