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Monday, November 29, 2010

A Winter's Skate

Pip and Mist won a Katy Perry CD playing Simon Says and Tabs won a Christmas CD
Me, Pip and Mist

A fun weekend. We went skating as a family and with the cousins on Saturday. Mist and I had lessons last night--I am so improving my cross-over technique. I am very thrilled as I felt real progress last night! YAY for Skating progress! 
Peter is in Vancouver until later tonight. The girls and I have been having our usual girl's night parties. The girls attended a cookie-making party at Auntie's yesterday. They came home happy with gingerbread people.
Love foreign films. Watched I am Love--Italian and tonight will finish The Grocers Son-French.
Busy with my study--am most pleased with the passion in which my research assistant has tackled her job. Thanks Research Assistant XX!
Tabs home with head cold. She accompanied me to my office on Saturday to work along side me. My office is Starbucks for those of U who are wondering. She is writing a book about Elves and I am working on my thesis and my novel. We sit side by side at a table, with our laptops and hot beverages. We stayed for an hour and a half the other day. She loved it and so did I.
Mist's Bday party this Saturday--sleep over. 
Pip is in a Princess stage and only wearing a princess gown will do.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Watch Out World Here We Come (in Barbie Universe)!

Again...I must confess providence at work. I have been talking about our old 1970s Barbie camper with my girls ever since they received their own 2000 Barbie camper for Christmas last year. Also, I have been writing about my protagonists abandoning their Barbie camper on their back porch.
Yesterday, I had to pick my MIst up from a Social Justice workshop on 
Hollywood Road. I almost never get to Hollywood Road. When I do, I use it as an excuse to check out Hollywood Shoes(the most amazing shoe store ever) and the Salvation Army Thrift Store (the girls and I enjoy a good thrift once in a while). We'd just walked in the store when Mist disappears into the toy section and emerges with a mint 1970s Barbie Camper--exactly like the one my sister owned back in the 70's and we played with for years. So here she is in all her glory. I have included my girls and I in our Barbie forms for the photo opt:
Here We are in Our New Camper: Ready to Explore the Roads!

That's me driving, next to me is Pip, Tabs is the middle and Mist on the passenger side.
Me and My New Wheels...Watch Out World!
Just Me and My Gals--Ready for our road Trip Down to South America
Pip demonstrating all the creature comforts and avacado kitchen appliances. We even have a TV and stereo!
The interior is so mod and groovey--feels like Zen Studio!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Just the Way She Is

Darling Pippi entertaining me with a lovely dance she's choreographed.
Picked the little darling and her cousin Artemis up at Preschool today to find Pip tightless. Her teacher Tracy informed me that Pip and a few girl friends locked themselves in the bathroom and attempted to give Pip's Fur-real Panda (electronic stuffy) a bath in the sink. They soaked the bathroom. Artemis stood guard, not allowing Tracy inside until Pip had attempted to mop up the place! lol. Panda is soaked and once he is dry I will see if he still works.
I have been so busy maintaining my study. I spent all morning on my computer at Starbucks updating all my photos, comments etc. It's a great office as I always meet some pleasant women there to chat a little with.
Now that the study is in full swing it requires constant upkeep. My sister Theresa is the official research assistant. Though I have no money to give her :(
Tonight I believe Peter and I will dine at CHOP restaurant.
The cousins will be over after school and may stay for a pizza party with my girls.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Facebook for Freaks

Pip, Fernando and me, taken today. Fernando the pug is upstairs singing with Pippi as I type this.

Tiring day. So much snow in Kelowna. Living on top of a mountain isn't easy sometimes. I left the house this morning in a snow storm and super slippery roads up here. By the time I got to the bottom of the mountain I realized it wasn't snowing and the roads were clear. We live up past the snow line.

A busy month ahead for all of us. Christmas parties, piano concerts, choir concerts and Christmas concerts. It all starts next week. I bought the girls some very glamourous Christmas dresses. Pip and Tabs are matching and Mist bought her first strapless little black dress. I have so many party type dresses I do not need another. I have yet to wear a red number I purchased last year. I think that will be the dress of the season.

Study on facebook actually stressful. Trying to figure everyone out and establish an audience and navigate amongst some less than stellar characters: perverts, racists and misogynists :(

Mist's Bday party is starting to collide with concert times. Not sure how we'll manage that one. Think I will change her Bdate for Dec 4th. It's a sleepover. 

Lots of impending change for Peter on the work front. I think it's good--keeps things interesting for him.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


Me Right Now
Just got in from the girls piano concert. Both had a wee case of the nerves today and their fingers slipped a bit. However they did spendidily anyway considering they had a busy week and not much prep time-- being in Banff and then everyone being ill with the upper/lower respiratory virus that lasts ten + days and make one feel so very exhausted. It must be that my lungs are compromised for oxygen with all that junk in them because after I go out on the town for a few hours (shopping , etc.) I am ready to collapse in bed for the rest of the day. However, today I feel better than I have since this bug started so all is looking up!
After the concert the girls and I went to Chapters/Starbucks for hot choco (Americano for me).
Heavy into editing my novel and doing my thesis study. I only have 2 weeks left of my study. Then the analyzing results and a write up! I need 2 peers to read my research to see if I have accurately portrayed the study so I am looking at you Horace and God knows who else? How many humans know a thing about Stuffy/Fluffy identity on facebook?
My girls are outside in the dark and snow playing away. They LOVE the snow as much as I don't. Pip is the only daughter of mine that has agreed to try living with me in my Equatorial winter home for 4 months a year. The big girls have said no. And believe it or not, I believe the idea is not too far off. My novel is good. I have worked so hard on it and I think this may be the time it is finally ready. The protagonist is based on a young me and I find a lot of strength when I write about her. It is like I have a friend, fighting it out through life beside me.
PS I have an issue with my eyebrows. They are low against my eyes (they always have been like this). Yet I am terrified to pluck them because they are actually blonde and it is the thickness of them that makes them noticable. They photograph darker than they are because I've left them thick. If I pluck them, you'll hardly be able to see them at all. Should I leave them or do they really need to be thinner?
PS #2 I know I'm not as amazing and wow as a Grizzly Bear but I do hope I get a comment anyway!  

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Friday, November 19, 2010


Pippi in September.

Help! It snowed last night. I am not a snow girl :( Yes, the girls are all thrilled. Especially Mist as it snowed on her birthday evening. My little first born darling turned 14 yesterday! XOXO to my Mist.
I thnk I am suited for equator living or perhaps New Mexico. Theresa just returned from a trip there and I
think it is a fine place for an artist like me: sunshine all year long:)

I am still ill!!!!Bah humbug! I so wish it were true, what people say, that one is down for a week with a bug. It is not. This is day 9 for me. My sinuses hurt so, my teeth ache. I have not worked out all week.
Cry, cry cry....

Mist is having a sleep over birthday party next weekend. I will be well for that! Had an amazing dream last night that I was at a painting workshop and I painted a huge canvas of a horse and of all things a quilt, bed and bedside table. But, as strange as the subject matter sounds, the painting was amazing! I surprised myself and decided I was a painting genius after all :) Yes, 'twas just a dream but I am in agreement with the whole thing!

Have decided to be most realistic about my life. Accept all of my obstacles so I can be proactive and plan for them so they don't thwart my attempts. #one for me is the isolation of being an artist/writer. I am a social animal and I love getting out each day and socializing--meeting new people is my favourite thing. I always believe the most fascinating, fun person is waiting just around the corner. Thus, my choice of career in this lifetime defies this. however, I believe it could be different. We could live in a world were artists are celebrated (like in the renaissance) and they work in studios side by side with secretaries, agents, galleries all under one roof--like law offices , etc. We could, but we don't.
Thus, I must create my own community. I am going to get a P/T teaching job once a week or so (at a Uni, gallery or college) and attend workshops internationally at least 2x a year. Plus, I will get out of the studio each day by taking early morning classes in yoga , etc. And, I can do my writing in coffee shops--which I like to do. These are a few ideas. If people have some more, let me know.

My thesis will be done by the end of December so I am ready to start my career work in January. I am excited about this as all it takes is 2 1/2 years of Uni to make one long for the freedom of working for $!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grizzly Bear

I took these photos of this magnificent grizzly bear yesterday (November 14). The bear was at the side of the #1 highway between Lake Louise, Alberta and Field, British Columbia. I have never seen a more beautiful, big and healthy wild grizzly before. It was a dream come true.

*Update: I recently learned the sad truth about why this grizzly was on the railway tracks. The reason is grain. Railway cars leak grain. The containers are poorly designed and often loose their entire load of grain by the time they reach the coast. The cost of this leakage is death for the bears. Most bears in BC and Alberta loose their lives to trains. The only reason is that they migrate towards the tracks to eat the spilled grain. Don't you think it is time we designed better grain cars? Is a grizzlies life worth nothing to our government?

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Banff in November

Here are more pics of Banff. I feel very spoiled as I relize that I have stayed at 7 different Fairmont Hotels around the globe to date--they are my favorite chain of hotels as I like the old world charm. Have left the old world charm behind as we are home now--arrived last night. I am in bed with bronchitis. However, the antibiotics are working and I slept like a baby. Just must take it easy until the virus leaves the building! Mist and Tabs are home today with sore throats :( Peter is well and back at work. Pip is well and at preschool--she is thrilled to be reunited with her cousin Artemis. Fernando had a lovely time at his cousins while we were gone and spent his second birthday hiking at Mara Canyon with his cousin dog Fozzy.
***Next post***We saw the most magnificent grizzly bear I have ever seen on the drive home. It was in the ditch, on railway tracks, digging for grubs. Will post my pics tomorrow. I must prepare you, this bear is amazing, gorgeous and a once in a life time gift of spotting such a robust, wild bear!
Me and my gals in the lobby closest to our room at the Banff Springs
Walking into Banff from the hotel
Tabs piggy-backing Pip--it took an army to get Pip home to the hotel from town (she cried and refused to walk).

Mist and Pip--to town they go!
Me relaxing in the lobby near our room. It was huge and empty--loved it! The ceilings were Ft 20 high and floor to ceiling windows.
Me, Pip and Mist
Tabs entertained us with her cart wheels.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snowing in Banff

Mistaya in the outdoor pool
Me and Pip
My girls and their Maplelea Dolls, refusing to give up on the photo contest!
Our bedroom at Banff Springs
Our living room at the Banff Springs (a little messy!)
Mist helping Pip brush her teeth
View from living room window
View from bedroom window
View from second living room window

Feeling like antibiotics have kicked in. My chest was so raw, burning and achey last night and today it is less so.
Snowing outside this morning. Peter is off to the pool with the girls to swim in the snow! I will take a pot of tea in the Rundel room and read (if I can get myself ready in time!). Sigh...bronchitis in Banff has limited our trip a bit but what can one do? As a mother, I eventually catch what my kids have, (especially if we stay at a hotel in close quarters). I will never travel without my emergency Cypro though. It has been a life saver. I have asthma, and had many sessions of childhood pneumonia, thus my lungs are very sensitive to any respiratory virus and they get super-inflamed which leads to a bacterial infection.
Despite all I have managed to hike into town with the girls daily and we went to the Banff Natural History Museum yesterday (built in 1903).

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Remembrance Day in Banff

We made it down town in time for the Remembrance Day Parade
These boys looked especially lovely against the mountain back ground.
My little parade watchers
An Elk on the Bow River bank
Me and my gals walking in banff
My girls at breakfast
Daddy and Pip
Mommy and Pip after dad said he saw a coyote outside the window

The cold has turned into bronchitis. Still hopeful I can fight it without antibiotics. I feel OK for most of the day. I crash in late afternoon and evening. Thus no ghost hunting trip at the Banff Springs as of yet.
The hotel room suite has become a very cozy home away from home (with 3 large mountain view windows and a fireplace).
Spending our time walking into town and swimming at the hotel. Went for supper in town last night at the Spaghetti Factory. The line up and wait was insane! I don't know if it was worth it either as I liken the Spaghetti Factory to MacDonalds. However, the kids always enjoy it and the meal was fine.
Want to find a quiet, elegant spot in the hotel to read and take my tea. I may attempt such a feat however, the girls will have to be back in the room watching television otherwise they'll never allow me to simply sit and read! Perhaps if I buy Pip a book downtown today we can accomplish this--the big girls brought books I believe. If only I wasn't ill with bronchitis--it makes it impossible to enjoy my evenings here as I feel very sick then and must retire to bed by nine :(
*just put myself on my travel Cipro from Asia (I have 3 days worth). I am coughing up bad stuff from my lungs. I NEVER get a head cold. It always skips my nose and heads right for my lungs and I get an infection :(!!!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Banff Springs Hotel

The Banff Springs Fairmont Hotel
The Banff Springs: where we are currently staying
Peter and the girls off to find breakfast
Mom and Pip after she had a nasty fall on the sidewalk
Off to the town of Banff for Breakfast

Hotel tour: Dave (tour guide) called Pip the Hotel Princess and gave her a throne to sit in.
In the hotel Cascade Ball Room
Me and my gals at the Banff Springs
Tabs the photographer
Pip and Tabs at The Banff Springs
Hiding in the stair well (not the best pic of Tabs)

We have arrived in Banff. We are staying at the Banff Springs Hotel. We have a very nice executive suite with a living room, bedroom and amazing wilderness views of the mountain valley. 
All is gorgeous and a little chilly! Highs of only +2  oC. When we walked into town for breakfast yesterday it was -3  oC and there was a wind. We are not used to the cold yet. 
The mountain views are unbelievably majestic and well worth the chilly temps. The mountains have snow on top but there is none on the ground. We saw 3 coyotes running through town on our first night here. They seem to be very populous inside the town area.
I have (most unfortunately) caught Pip's virus. A cold type: sore throat, chills, headache. I am doing my best to keep going however, what I need is the week in bed! However, the restaurants at the hotel are very expensively priced. Breakfast for a child is at least $25. So, we hike to town to eat. Last night though, I was too tired to go anywhere and we ordered room service. Mistaya was most impressed as it arrived on a large, elegant rolling table with all tall wineglasses filled with ice water for the girls. 
The outdoor pool is the best: hot, steamy with crisp mountain views.
Yesterday we toured the Hotel with a guide (the famous Dave) and learned a few ghost stories. We also toured the town and swam at the hotel. 
Today, I believe I will haul myself out into the cold to walk with the girls to the museum and for breakfast at  Phil's, and a swim in the outdoor pool. 
It is nice that TV is real novelty for the girls. We don't have TV at home, so to have cable in hotel provided the girls with a treat so I can rest. Although, Tabs wants to try the Fairmont Kid's Club at the hotel today. I'll have to call and find out about that.
Finding it hard to do my research study, I am so tired with this virus! But I am chugging along slowly. 
Taking it easy this trip. No heroic hikes and it is too early to ski or skate. Leisurely walks around the hotel and into town, swimming and a little historical site touring is about what I'm up for.

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