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Thursday, April 29, 2010

For the Love of Snails

Early this morning I went for a run with Fernando. For some reason I was drawn to try a new trail--one I never take in the mornings. I believe this is the reason why: the most beautiful orange and yellow snails, trying to cross the trail. The snails are native to the Okanagan and have about an inch radius. They are so beautiful. I ran home and burst through the door to grab my camera and shouted "field trip!" Pip was still asleep and my two big girls in their jammies. They threw on rubber boots and piled in the van. We arrived back at the trail in time to see the beautiful snails (they are slow movers luckily).
I love nothing more than tromping through wilderness and photographing wild life! I am so looking forward to completing my thesis so I can return to painting life.
I had a great time at Zumba again. I was born to dance. I LOVE dancing, always have.
Busy night: piano x2, soccer pics, date night (yay!) and preparing for Friday night's movie/pizza party Mist is throwing for all her newly shorn friends.
 Gotta get to work...

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Dancing with the Quatchies

Pip and Me dancing with her Olympic stuffies.
I was tired today. Why? Because I had no sleep because of my darling Hubbie and his cold. He coughed all night long. Oh, it is so hard when my rock gets ill.

 It is Monday--Buddhist meditation night at the Yoga house. Will I make it there? Doubtful. I try, every Monday to remember to go by 7:30 pm, but I always forget until Tuesday. It is not that I don't want to--I do. But Monday nights it is hard to pry myself away from the hearth. I like hanging with my girls.

I am all about mathematical formulas. I realized recently that I try to fit my entire life into a simple formula--my wardrobe, my meals, my workouts, my chores, my day: (A + B - D) x C= Z (for zen). If I stick to my rigid (ok a tich fexible) formulas, I believe my life will be simple, effortless and I will be the best I can be. It is in prep for the life I want to live which requires me to spend little energy looking and feeling great and little energy on home chores so I can devote all of my energy to my pleasures: painting, writing, sports, travel and most importantly hanging with my family.

I'm going to start a group on facebook: Ban the Apple. It is based on the ridiculous notion that we humans have the power to corrupt nature simply by the way we dress. IE: women being considered so sexually provocative that they must remain hidden from all male eyes. In an attempt to help our sisters living in societies that require them to hide, and to encourage equality amongst the sexes, I have decided to promote the idea that a man's Adam's apple is so sexually provocative that it needs to remain hidden under a turtle neck as to not corrupt women and lead them astray and thus destroy society with mass sexual corruption.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ridiculous in Ponytails

Darling Pip.
The other day I had Mistaya help get Pip ready for preschool. Pip's hair was ready for a wash but we had no time so I asked Mistaya to put it up in two ponytails. Pip arrived all dressed and looking adorable in two ponytails thanks to her sister. But poor little Pip, she did not like the ponytails. She cried  hysterically. " I don't want two ponytails....I hate pony tails...I don't like ponytails....I want to take them out!" After about ten minutes of her tears (and me trying to reassure her of her cuteness) she finally lay down on the living room floor in a desperate heap and announced in the most dejected voice, "I look ridiculous in ponytails!"
Of course, that did it. Any kid who can say that about her hairstyle deserves to be taken seriously. I let her take out the ponytails and she calmed right down.
I am exhausted today. A busy week of pushing myself at the gym and then Peter came down with the worst cold and fever ( he is a little better today).
This morning Pip and I made apple/walnut waffles for the family breakfast. Pip loved her own cooking. Then Pip and I went on a hike and counted 18 different types of flowers in bloom in the forest. Some of the most beautiful are the yellow balsam root and chocolate lilies and little purple shooting stars.
Tabitha is at an afternoon dance camp. Mistaya is playing the piano and Pip is in the back yard playing with Fernando.
My university class was spent outside on all day field trips to Armstrong and Vernon areas yesterday. It was chilly and windy and even hailed on us! However, the farm land around Armstrong in gorgeous and I learned a little about the first European settlers in the area. The Vernon mural tour was fantastic. I had no idea how many of them there are! It is well worth an afternoon trip to Vernon with my darling daughters to check them out again.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happiness Achieved

Happiness is nonnegotiable
Be happy everyday of this life
Do not sacrifice happiness for other goals
Let go of false time
Let go of Uber-Achiever status
Sleeps are bliss
Wakings a comfortable challenge
Days of peace, joy and love;
Work, play and rest
Recognize calm as very different than boredom
Contentment not depression
Relaxation not sloth
Accept that happiness is not mania

Melissa Mix Hart


Buds and Bras

Pippi and Mom off to preschool this spring. The magnolias downtown have been in bloom for weeks. However, up on our mountain ours is only just starting to bud.
My mom is down the street babysitting little Anemone and Artemisia. Miranda and John are in LA, California.
Mom mentioned my hair looks layered at the back. It isn't supposed to be. I freaked thinking what has happened to my hair? I just realized that my snorkeling mask must have ripped my hair off at that level. I knew it was breaking hair but I didn't realize how bleeping much! And then my hair dresser "tidied" up the wisps and now I have layered hair. I don't want layered hair. I have very fine, wavy hair naturally and I highlight the crown area regularly--lighter blonde. This leaves my hair extra weak. Boo-hoo. So, only tight braids from now on when I snorkle. Plus I am purchasing a super-deluxe fabric-backed mask
 next time around.
Mist at Social Justice conference all day. Tabs and Mist have piano after school. Pip is at preschool and then a playdate. Mom and I shall shop a wee bit this afternoon. I will work shortly.
Zumba last night was FUN! I love salsa dancing. I am going to go to Salsa-Thursday next week. Tonight is date night. I could convince Peter to go to Salsa-Thursday with me but he's not big on ball room dancing.
Went to the only store in town that sells my bra size (32D--something you all really want to know! lol-I just didn't want anyone thinking I had some freakish size) and bought 3 new ones. I love fancy bras--designed and made in France.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Having a Good Time--Wish I Were Here!

Tabs and Mist today at the music festival. They played very well. Tabs came home with a second place certificate and Mist placed third. The adjudicator gave great feedback tips to improve their playing.

The above title perfectly expresses the Buddhist philosophy to remember to live in the moment.

I have learned a few new things lately. Some may be too controversial to post on this blog. But I will try posting a few:
-Humans need a daily nap. Those who don't, have to be drugged to remain awake in the late afternoon. If you're not napping, you're on drugs: caffeine and perhaps something even stronger. If you're not napping or on drugs then you wake at noon and tuck yourself in by ten.
-There are yes things and no things you can do in any relationship. The sooner you learn and accept what you can and cannot do with the person--the happier you will be. Example: Peter and I cannot chit-chat--it always leads to bad karma between us. Casual chit-chat is a NO for us. Yet, we are good at being active together, like sports. So sports together are a YES.
I best end the list here as the rest are tres controversial...
Now as promised my two week supper menu:
*note I am allergic to sea food so none is represented. Also, I don't eat red meat except on rare occasions, so none represented.
Monday:curried chicken vegetable curry skillet-casserole with quinoa and chick peas.
Tuesday: Thai peanut chicken with carrot and red pepper, cilantro on brown rice vermicelli.
Wednesday: Veggie stir fry on brown rice with eadame beans and every colour of veg( I often add purple cabbage).
Thursday: chicken fingers, raw veggies and homemade dip (light sour cream/light mayo base).
Friday: Spaghetti with ground turkey on whole wheat pasta and a Hawaiian green salad with avocado and mango and organic dressing.
Monday:curried chicken veggies curry skillet casserole with quinoa and lentils.
Tuesday: Light(made with evaporate milk instead of cream) Indian butter chicken (with spinach) on brown basmati rice.
Wednesday: Veggie and eadame bean stir fry on brown basmati. (same as previous week).
Thursday: Chicken fingers, sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.
Friday: homemade pizza (cheese) with Hawaiian greens (same as previous week).
And that is my menu for the year.
Ripped, bruised or fractured my right shin in Vancouver. Don't know how. I have a vague recollection of banging it but ignoring the pain. It is an odd injury. I cannot put pressure on that shin if I have a bent knee or ankle. A straight leg doesn't hurt much but trying to stand up from a squat position is agony.
Beautiful, warm, sunny days this week--near 30 oC tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sex in the City (Vancouver)

A thrilling ride of a weekend. Miranda and I drove to Vancouver at noon (half way through my Uni class). Arrived at the Hotel Vancouver Fairmont in time for a trip to H&M. It was like we were living in a comedy movie: as Miranda and I strolled by the open piano lounge in our sunglasses and trench coats, I spotted Theresa and my mom in the lounge! This entire weekend was a surprise meeting in Vancouver for my mom's birthday--all of her daughters flew in to surprise her. So while I grabbed Miranda and hauled her out of sight, Theresa suddenly talked very loudly and animately to make sure my mom would be looking at her instead of watching the hotel guests stroll about the lobby.
We met my sister Catherine later at 7pm in the piano lounge and awaited Theresa and my mom arriving. (My mom thought just she and Theresa were having a weekend in Van. alone) When they walked in, Mom smiled at us sweetly (before her brain caught up to her eye sight) and then a shocked look passed over her face. It was a lovely, fun and silly reunion (don't give me a lemon drop on an empty stomach). Before I knew what I was doing, I was massaging the chest area of my dress in public to demonstrate something or another! lol
After Champagne we made out way to the streets of down town Vancouver to the Wedgwood restaurant. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. For a photo op, I went to kiss my mom's cheek and she ended up turning her face toward me and I was puckering up to the tip of her nose--and this seemed so funny I could not stop laughing--as the photos demonstrate.
The rest of the weekend was spent walking and walking and shopping. The Bay had an entire floor dedicated to olympic merchandise at half off! I purchased hoodies for the girls. I bought myself some dreamy Pumas. The most comfortable shoes I have ever walked in. We rented The Last Station--a movie about Tolstoy and all bunked in Mom and T's room to watch it. It was a good movie. Helen Murin was amazing in it. And Tolstoy reminded me of every man I've ever known--that part was rather depressing! On Sunday we met the Wallaces (cousins, aunt and uncle) for brunch down town and played with darling baby Daphne (one of the happiest and cutest babies).
Back to reality: just as I walked in the door from a 4 hour car trip from Vancouver, Peter walked out to the airport--headed for meetings in Vancouver. Yikes--so many chores for me at home today :(
I love Vancouver--always fun times.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Burning Rubber

Happy Birthday to my favorite mom in the world: Sandra P (for Perfect) Hart XOXO!
Pip and Artemis burning rubber at the safety village. I have watched all my little girls drive those cars around that track at the same age. Miranda actually got to see Pip and I gave her my camera to capture the moment. Mist saw Pip's "driver's license" and asked if I could take them all there on the weekend. I had to break it to her that there is no way those legs of hers would ever fit into those little cars--Mist has some of the world's longest legs.
Zumba was fun. Not to brag (OK, to brag a little) I have a natural inclination to Latin American dance. I think I was Latin American in my last life. The dance moves come naturally and Mexican food is my favorite. My teacher is Brazilian. She has a massive, round bottom. She points to it as she sways in a sultry way and it giggles all on its own. I am missing that fantastic appendage. Zumba requires a a big, sexy butt. I thought about designing Zumba underwear: a silcon pad in each cheek that giggle all on their own when you move.
My upper back is in pain. I lifted too heavy of weights at the gym on Wednesday. It is so hard to gage. My muscles can handle heavy weights but my spine cannot. The spine wins out--no more pushing to lift heavier weights.
Thurday night is Peter and my date night. I love date night. We always enjoy it. Ususally we go to a movie. Last night was "The Ghost Writer." I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although, as soon as Pierce Bronson walked onto the screen I thought, "Granny"--as in my Grandmother Forsyth. As Pierce ages he looks more and more like a male version of my late grandmother. They could be siblings: their features, near-black wavy hair, pale skin and blue eyes. Pierce is as handsome as my grandmother was beautiful.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter 2010, Kelowna, BC

Don't the children look all too pleased to have me burst into the room during their movie and snap pics?!
The dinner was at Miranda and Johns and it was tres delicious.
Easter weekend went by in a blur. My mom and dad are very well and I always enjoy our passionate conversations about what ever is new out there--and a round of my dad's favorite game: Botticelli. Even though everyone got mad at me for choosing one of my favorite Buddhist monks: Matthew Ricard--my parents hadn't heard of him.
I start Zumba tomorrow night and I start my MA class Saturday. The last one! My MA is in site! I am so thrilled as I am so tired of straying away from my passions: writing and painting. My next degree is going to be all about studio art!
Peter is the great uncle of a baby boy(Hendrix) born today to his sister Grace's daughter Carolyn. Both mom and baby are well. Makes me feel like having another! I wish life wasn't so complicated and so darn short. I'd love to have another but I have my career goals to achieve and by that time I wouldn't want to put my body through a pregnancy in my mid-forties. Sure I'm super fit and healthy but with pregnancy that doesn't seem to matter. It is hard on you no matter what your fitness after 40.
My girls have found a stash of Olympic mascot stuffies at clearance prices and have gone nuts trying to collect them all. They only need one more to complete the series and I am a soft touch so I anticipate they'll be bringing her home.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fire Burning

Blessed Easter Sunday to all.
Miranda and I got up early for Bikram yoga. I got up too early as I forgot my towel and mat and arrived at the studio with a bunny tail (I had my shorts on inside out and the white tag flopped around on my behind as I walked).
Marley is visiting with Mistaya and the little girls are on their way down to Auntie M's to play. I am having my Momma and Dad over for lunch soon. I am sitting in front of the fire place in the 50's pad trying to warm up after a frozen breakfast shake followed by a freezing bath (Tabs and Mist hogged all the hot water  prior to my bath tub entry). Attended a neighborhood Easter egg hunt at Doe-Doe park yesterday. The girls had great fun. A nasty woman accosted Mist (who was kindly helping little Pip find eggs) to say she should leave the eggs for the younger kids--HELLO, Pip was the youngest kid there and my darling Mist is a sweet little sliver of a thing! Lucky thing Mist didn't tell me this until after we were home, other wise that nasty woman would have gotten it good from dear, sweet and gentle Buddha Mama.
OK, this fire is burning me up--I gotta get out of here. Oh, ya, a fire on our Mountain Friday night--close to evacuating us--hit it hard and fast and got it out--slept through the whole thing!
*The pics are from Crag hiking on Saturday.
**Notice anything strange in the images of us at the picnic rock?

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Buddha Mama in Training

For those of you hesitant to comment: comments are not only welcome, they are encouraged! I'm very social,I love the ying/yang of interaction ;)
--Pic is of my darling Tabs. A chip off the old block.
Heading out on our first major hike of the season with M & J's family. It is cool today so hot thermoses of tea are in order. We are going to hike the Kelowna Crags--popular rock climbing cliffs. We won't be scaling the cliffs today though ;). These rock cliffs are the only other place west of the northern part of the prairies provinces that the Canadian Shield breaks through the earth's crust and rears its powerful, rocky self before disappearing again below the earth's surface.
Feeling great success with my 2-week menu plan. 2 weeks of super healthy, tasty meals that I repeat over and over for simplicity and maximum nutrition. If any one would like my sample menus, I will oblige.
My parents are coming to Kelowna for Easter and staying with Miranda's fam. It will be great to see them again. 
I am actually rethinking Malaysia. Hawaii put me in the mood for travel. Nothing definite, but considering...
Very determined to pursue my art/ writing as soon as this MA is finished. Looking at an MFA in painting now. Teach art at a Uni or college and hold workshops around the world in the summers. I can hardly wait to start painting again. Also, new plans for publishing--I am excited.