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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Werewolves of British Columbia

video

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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Making of a Witch

Paper Mache on a neck made of a swimming 'noodle' with a mask, balloon head and paper mache nose and chin.
Finishing the eyes and gesso applied to the entire head.
Painting the face. I modeled her after The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.
Body made from 2 sets of nylons sewn together at the waist and stuffed with fiber fill. The body includes bendable wire armatures inside and tennis-sock stuffed boobs.
Introducing Auntie Griselda with Pip (the woman is 6 feet tall!)
Griselda and Pip. My what big hands she has!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dr. Mix and Ms. Hart

Here is me as my evil creature-building alter ego. Griselda in almost complete. Will post pics next post.

Feel triumphant as I found  Werewolf costume bits and pieces yesterday at Value Village. Tomorrow night is the school Halloween Fair I will take my girls (Mist is volunteering) and my nieces and the Klironomos'. John's parents from Montreal:Pitsa and Nic are visiting and I will invite them along for the
night. Pip also has skating tomorrow night, just before the party and skating is way far away. It will be a busy night. Take out for supper will be a must!

I have been fighting an odd virus that leaves me tired, cranky and a slightly irritated throat plus bad asthma. I haven't been sleeping that well (up at 5 AM no matter what!) So I decided this morning to have a lie in and miss working out for one morning. I need to do that once in a while. It gives my mind a chance to rest. The thing about regular strenuous workouts that most people don;t realize is that one needs the occasional rest from them, not for the body but for the mind! To not have to get out of the house at the crack of dawn and rush around in the morning, really gives me a sense of relief. One day is enough though, tomorrow back at Zen Studio.

I have had requests to video a workout from Zen Studio and share it with my blog; I am working on that. It will be a simple workout that one can do three times a week and see fantastic results. The Zen Studio Work Out. But be aware: it's not meditation, it's not yoga, it's serious weight lifting for muscle defining results! Tee Hee--I had to write that as a fitness guru "Tony" who does workout videos always makes those type of macho disclaimers.

Preparing to start my MA study as soon as UBC ethics gives me the green light. Waiting sucks! If I didn't have my novel to edit I'd be going MAD.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Cross-Overs and Crying

Pics were taken from the highway on our way home through the Kootneys. The tamarack trees have turned yellow.
Home from Nelson. Peter left at 5 am for Vancouver--won't see him until late tonight.
The weekend trip to Nelson was fun. It was great to have my mom's company on the journey. I love the town of Nelson. It is an ideal little city. And my sister Theresa's home is always an adventure. Her house is old, huge and fabulously decorated with antiques and fascinating collections. It was great to hangout with my sis, her beau Joop and my nephew Kyran.
The trip has left me pooped. A lot of driving and then as soon as I arrived home I had to go out to skating lessons. I am so dead tired today that at times all I wanted to do was cry. I did not, no time, but how I wanted to.
 However, skating was educational. I learned to do cross-overs. YAY! They are the secret to skating. And believe me, I am right irritated by certain people in my life who have watched me flail about on stiff legs on the ice and never bothered to teach me crossovers! If anyone wanted help skating--cross overs would be the first thing I'd teach them.
Tabs had a great weekend at home with her dad. She had cleaned the entire house prior to our return!
We need groceries so badly. Yet I am so tired! I will leave in 15 min to take the big girls to piano, shop for groceries and then come home with take out. But all I want to do is go to bed. My asthma is horrid these past few weeks: fall is the worst time for my asthma. Perhaps this is why I am so pooped.
I have so much work to do, finishing my Halloween sculpture and making the girl's costumes.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hippy Town: Nelson BC

Mother & Son: Chef Theresa and sous chef Kyran preparing an Indian feast in their kitchen.
The Indian Feast

We have arrived in Nelson. Tabs and Peter stayed home as Tabs has soccer tryouts today.
The drive seemed long. I think I have discovered how to slow down time! I've decided that I need to become a professional truck driver: a trucker. I find driving so boring that time seems to stand still. Just think, as a trucker my days will seem like years!


Nelson is a great little city. I have purchased some of my needed accessories for life: a favorite fushia/orange bra that I'v only found here at the specialty lingerie store.  It is the third time I have bought the identical bra from that store. The first one was while I was nursing Pip, thus became too big when I finished. The second was stolen at a swimming pool. FInally I have my favorite bra again! I also purchased some much needed footless tights: they are scarce this year compared to last, it is hard to find colours and patterns. And finally I purchased an original witches broom for Grisdelda. A company in Nelson makes hand made straw brooms. They are the brooms seen in all of the Harry Potter movies: the movie actually purchases all its broom from the company here in Nelson as they are the coolest, most authentic straw brooms in the world. And you guessed it--I got one for the witch I am building:Griselda.


Today I believe we are hiking, checking out the market, bathing at Aisworth Hot Springs and going out for supper somewhere posh.
Slept with my Pip last night. She insisted on sleeping in the nude. All night long she tossed and turned, rolling dangerously to the very edge of the bed. I'd find her moaning to discover her cold, without blankets. Tonight I am insisting she stay in her jammies.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Down Town

Me and Fernando downtown on Saturday, Peter took the pics.
My committee meeting finally happened and went well! If all goes as planned I will start my MA study in November.
I ran into the couple we hung out with in Penang Malaysia. It was good to see them again. We are going to meet for supper and discuss our dreamy times on the Perhensian Islands.
On Friday I am going to Nelson for the weekend with my mom, Mist and Pip. Tabs is staying with her dad as she has soccer try outs.
My life is quiet at the moment as I write every second I get. I travel everywhere with my laptop and any spare moments I edit away. In fact, I dropped Tabs off at choir and drove to Starbucks to work on my novel while I waited for her lessons to be over.
My girls are all well--back at school today after a day home to rest up and get rid of a little throat/tummy bug they all seem to have had.
I've been busy building the witch: Griselda. She is one amazing life-sized woman. I will post the creation process and finished product when she's all done. I want to finish her very soon as I have to start on the kids Halloween costumes asap.
October has been a beautiful month--sunshine each afternoon.
I am restless as par ususal. It is in my genes. I want to travel, meet new people, see new places, learn new things. Buddhism is supposed to end restlessness--bring peace and calm. And I love peace and calm, I do. But I think that without my resless nature, I might be too content, boring perhaps. The reslessness keeps me full of wonder for the universe. The middleway is best of course. Too much restlessness and I get wound up and feel like I'm on a treadmill and can't get off.
What I need is more sanga--community to practice Buddhism and more social--the world is full of amazing people and I want to meet them all.
How to slow down time so I can fit everything in? I know there's a way.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Wild Dogs

Pip and I on the way to preschool.
What a day. Mistaya stayed home with a little virus--tummy, headache. I felt off today too. I wrote all morning and then went to pick up Fernando from Miranda's backyard. The dogs often have a morning playdate on their own in the backyard. I arrived to an empty yard. I called M's cell and she said no one had picked them up so officially they were missing. I picked Pip up from preschool and then hopped on  my bike. The task was huge as the mountain park behind our houses is vast. I called and called and biked and biked. John came home from work to help look for the boys: one giant,black curly haired dog and one little black straight haired dog.
A stroke of luck--I ran into neighbors who reported that yes the dogs were loose all morning, barking at people and running wild in the neighborhood and heading off into the forest.
I biked past my house and my girls came onto the balcony to tell me the dogs had been found. A neighbor was walking and they followed her home. Thank G! The good news is that they stayed together. Those naughty little boys explored the mountain all morning together--barking at anyone that tried to approach them.
Tonight I want to spoil myself with a pumpkin pie Blizzard. Once a month I just need the DQ to perk me up!
I had an exhausting but fun day yesterday. Miranda and I biked to the mountain top (I had my worst asthma attack ever on the way up and had to stop because my lungs stuck together and I couldn't get any air in). From the top we hid the bikes and hiked. It was beautiful in the forest--blue sky and sunshine. We sat underneath a giant old ponderosa tree in the sun and chatted for a long while. Then we hiked down to the areas dynamited out and looked through he rock veins for crystals. We biked back with our backpacks full of rocks. Miranda carried the mother of all rocks for me--My back couldn't handle its weight but she seemed to think she could manage it.
I was so tired after the morning that I had to nap--I am fighting a virus that leaves the stomach upset and the joints achey and weak. But last night was skating lessons, so I had to rise tot he occasion and head out into the night. Mist and I went to Prospera Place skate. It was fun! Once I'm out on the ice, the world is my oyster. I can't explain it, but I love sports! I have a smile on my face the entire skate--even though I really am a crappy skater. Mistaya was a great skating buddy. I love having daughters--they are so much fun--each one of them!

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hiking the Hudson Bay Brigade

Hiking last weekend at Lac Du Bois. The Hudson Bay Brigade trail cuts through the park. Again, I confess my love for the landscape.
Enjoying the weekend. Sunshine and blue sky and time to hang with my girls. Peter is at his office packing for his office move--he has a new office with an amazing view at UBCO.
We went out for supper last night at Joey's with the littlest girls as Mist was still in Vancouver.
Mist returned from Vancouver last night--very tired but having thoroughly enjoyed her social justice conference.
Pip started skating lessons yesterday and she was tres adorable. The rink is round and cute--indoor but with windows and the afternoon sun made the rink sparkle. She was amazing. Got right up and puttered around the ice.
The Tabs has joined battle of the books at school and is busy trying to finish her "for personal enjoyment novels" in her case--American Girl's Mysteries--before she starts the club books.
It is booked and official. We are going to Big White ski resort for three nights over Christmas. We are staying in a ski in/out condo with a hot tub, fireplace , etc.
Must go now and write. I am heavy into editing my novel. I do it off and on all day long. I have to take a break at some point to work on our Witch Grisellda and Peter and I have a date tonight. A think it will be a bike ride along Mission Creek. Miranda and I are mountain biking tomorrow morning in the mountains around here--looking for crystal rocks.
BTW my home gym workout is so killer and so amazing. My body is strong and I am exhausted every morning when I leave 'Zen Studio.' I am a wicked personal trainer. If anyone seriously wants to get in  amazing shape--call me. So far my exercise program, daily diet and wardrobe are running like machines. I have worked hard my whole life to achieve this. I never have to think or worry about any one of these things. I folllow my program--and voila I have an amazing wardrobe, I am in super shape and healthy.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sand Hill Cranes at Lac Du Bois

After a great Thanksgiving at my parents, we went hiking at my favourite spot: Lac Du Bois. And as luck would have it, there were several sandhill cranes in the park.

Peter and I saw The Social Network last night. A good movie. Great acting. The female roles were pathetic for the most part though. It portrayed what I have been led to believe: no one makes a fortune without sacrificing others. I recently read articles about the founders of facebook Sean Parker (Vanity fair) and Mark Zukerberg (The New Yorker)--interesting characters.

Mistaya is off to Vancouver this afternoon for more ME to WE (social justice group and conference). She's joined the local chapter of the national group too.
Tabs joined school choir. Now she will be singing all week--as she belongs to the Kelowna Community Youth Choir as well.
Pip and I have been enjoying her speech class. She needs more practice with her S and F sounds. She is such a physical kid--always running and jumping. She seriously hurt her leg again--a giant red scrape and purple bruise on her thigh--chasing after the dog. She runs around completely unaware of her surroundings--deep in play--just like a dog. When she gets hurt it's always a huge surprise to her and she doesn't know how or where it happened. My daughter the dog.

Working on my novel as I wait for the UBC gang to respond to my phone calls and emails about a possible date to get together so I can start my research. Frustration for the nation.

Building the most amazing life-size witch from the skeleton up--Grisellda is her name and she is going to be gorgeous. Will post her creation process once she is finished--in time for Halloween. She's going to sit on our balcony railing, watching the children below.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Adam's River Salmon Run

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians.
We had to cancel our trip to Nelson, BC at the last minute as my sister Theresa was sick with the flu. And so, my Mom invited us to come to Kamloops and dine with my parents, sister Miranda and family. My mom makes the most delicious Thanksgiving feast ever. But I am no longer a teenager with a stomach that stretches. I ate too much. I almost never eat too much. My stomach actually hurt. I had to walk it off by going on an evening river walk with Miranda and her big dog Fozzy (aka The Fonze--my dad's name for him). It just isn't worth it--no more shall I ever gorge on my mom's feasts. They are so good but I can't take pain.

We spent Sunday night at my parents and I must say I had a very sound sleep aside from the odd mournful howl from The Fonze. Fernando was a good little pup for the entire trip and enjoyed his weekend at Granny and Granddad's.

On the way home we made a detour and stopped at the Adam's River for the annual Salmon spawning. They are ocean Sockeye Salmon--big fish. It is a huge run and the river was red with them. I had a wonderful deja-vu of a childhood class trip. In grade six or seven, I attended the very same Salmon Run with my school--Salmon Arm West Elementary. At times, I felt that grade six was yesterday as the run was so familiar to me.
We drove through Salmon Arm and I realized how close we were to my childhood home--an acreage near Salmon Arm. We drove to my old acreage and past my old elementary school. I was surprised at how little things had changed. Our acreage had changed the most though: many trees cut down on our land and the house painted grey. My school looked exactly the same--untouched in thirty years. It was strange driving by landscapes and landmarks that still occur in my dreams, yet are only altered memories from my childhood. Beautiful land.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Serendipity

Thc case
My original 1970's Mod Hair Ken
Mod Hair Ken in his rightful beard

Life is wonderful!
All is well with the universe. I know this in the most bizarre way ever.

 Before I tell you how I know this, I will remind all of the time Peter and I were biking across the University Bridge in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was a summer day, and as we crossed the bridge, I biked over a two dollar bill lying on the pavement (yes, a two dollar bill! I am dating the story I know). Anyway, I couldn't stop in time but Peter did. He stopped his bike, picked it up and exclaimed, "I know this sounds greedy, but I wish it were a hundred dollar bill."  So, Peter and I biked back to our homes (we were young and dating at the time). The very next day, Peter wanted to check out his new school (out of town) and I went for the car ride with him in his sky blue Toyota Tercel. As we entered the small prairie town of Hanely, we stopped at a gas station. Peter noticed an old abandon Tercel parked in the field behind the gas station. He needed car parts (and how! Anyone remembering the Tercel knows it didn't drive in reverse, hand no exterior door handles and the front driver's seat was kept upright by wedging a big water bottle between it and the back seat). Thus we drove into the prairie field through the tall grass. Peter pulled up beside the ancient Tercel and opened the car door. And there, lying in the tall grass, was a hundred dollar bill! This is a true story.

Again, I am convinced that the Buddhas or God is on my side.
Just last week, I was editing my novel , Queen of the Godforsaken. I was rewriting a part about the protagonist and her Barbie dolls. I wrote a comical bit about her old "Mod Haired Ken" doll from the 1970's. The characters joked about how he came with this fake, stick-on beard, mustache and sideburns. The joke keeps going, but I don't want to spoil my novel. It is going to come out soon and it is going to be great!

Anyway, today Miranda arrived as scheduled at my house with Artemis (whom I am looking after for the afternoon).

 I had just made it home in time to meet them as I had only recently been summoned to the school as Tabs was hit in the face with a small, but very dense and hard ball. She was upset and her cheek had a welt on it. I arrived with a Revel (in a mini cooler) to perk her up. Although, it was her little sister Pip that seemed to be the healing trick. Tabs held her hand and paraded around the school with her--kissing each other's cheeks on us leaving. Tabs is going to be fine and our visit perked her right up.

So, Miranda had a little something with her, something she'd just picked up while thrifting. A present for me, a 1970's Barbie case. Very similar to one I received for my seventh birthday. I thanked her and she left for work. She had no idea that I had just been writing about my 1970's Barbies in my novel--I don't talk about my editing details. So, I brought the Barbie case inside and opened it up to examine it. And what was inside...what do you think...the only thing inside the case! A square, sticky, brown felty piece of fabric. On closer examination, the fabric proved to hold various shaped stickers: beard, sideburns and mustache--all designed for none other than my 1970's Mod Haired KEN!

Something so small, so seemingly insignificant, yet not--apparantly nothing goes unnoticed in our crazy universe.
Life is weird and life is wonderful.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gellaty Nut Farm

Pip, Artemis and I at the Historical Gellaty Nut Farm in West Kelowna. The farm is over 100 years old. The Gellaty's emigrated from Scottland, raised 11 children and bought 300 acres right on Okanagan Lake. It is a very beautiful, serene place with walnut, chestnut and hazelnut trees. As I was walking around the farm I felt a small nut fall on my head. It wasn't until I got home and Pip looked at my hair that we discovered it wasn't a nut. No, as luck would have it, a bird shat on my head!

Tonight I am resurrecting our usual winter routine (even thought he weather here is gorgeous!)--Wednesday night home made pizza and Imax movie on the wall at home. Pizza is very simple as I make food processor dough, and buy already grated cheese.
Tabs has choir tonight and I promised I'd take Mist to trim her hair (just the back as it is growing in fast).

My face is flaring up again! It is deep type of cysts. I never had bad skin as a teen--I've always had great skin...but now it is rebelling! I am on an antibiotic (because the cysts get painful) and I am going to get a face peel and may even consider laser. On the antibiotic my skin is beautiful but I don't want to have to be on it forever! The cure is to get pregnant. Pregnancy always balances the hormones perfectly. But I couldn't bare another labour. I am the first to admit I adore babies and would happily have one every five years or so for the rest of my life if it were humanly possible. However, pregnancy and labour are no picnic. So I guess that solution is out.

May talk Peter into a foreign film night out with moi later tonight. But we may be pooped after family pizza night.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

October Beach

I spent the weekend thoroughly enjoying the warm/hot weather. On October 1st and 2nd we hung out at the beach and even went swimming. Water is cooler than in the summer but not as cold as it was back in early June.
Weekend had a cloud of work hanging over it. My ethics review is due tomorrow. I'll have to cut this short and get back to it.
Tabs had her final soccer jamboree on Sunday and a party afterward. I had to work so Peter took her to all of the events. Tabs had a great day and her team won both games.
Mist had a sleep over at a friends, Pip and Tabs had a sleep over at their cuz's--all in all, a good weekend for the gals.
Peter seems to have cracked a rib playing basket ball. He plays with some of his former UBC students. He admitted to feeling like a "small fry" on the team as all his 20 year old students are over 6'2" and big boned.
I am in to super adventure/scary movies lately. No one will watch them with me--so I bravely watch alone. My recent favourites are :The Orphanage (Spanish subtitles)--very well done yet disturbing. The other is Broken (British)--almost finished it but had to pause it as it was getting too late and I have to get up before 6 AM to work out.
 One trend however, in N. American horror films has caused me concern. The evil force in many, many of the movies currently playing is an evil little girl. I don't like it. I think it demonstrates a latent misogyny in our society. In fact, in two horror movies playing right now, in Kelowna, the evil villain is a little girl. It is sick. I believe it is objectifying innocent darling little girls. And as someone who has worked with children her entire life, I can honestly say, little girls are not evil, not even close. Every single little girl I have known is a little darling. Girls have their insecurities as they grow up but when they are little, they are simply dear.
Pip is at preschool today and my big girls at home with sore throats and head aches. 
They better get well quickly as they have piano tonight. I have a yoga class early afternoon and a meditation group tonight. Monday seems a tad too busy. Might have to miss yoga today--too much more work to do on my thesis!

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