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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Big Island Love


Here is Big Island Love finally! Because of copy right laws I could only ever post it on facebook. However, after taking my advice, You tube now links their sound tracks directly to i tunes and thus I can play my videos with their sound tracks! I am all for Iz receiving full credit for his amazing songs. And finally, You tube and itunes realize the best way to sell music is to let people use it in their amateur videos to share with friends.
So, for all of those who missed this on facebook, it was a video I made ten short months ago at a few different beaches near Kona, Hawaii.

BTW the hike yesterday was fab. I stumbled upon a herd of 11 doe resting in the snow. They were so beautiful in their fuzzy winter coats.
Today a day of work for me--finally opening that paper up to look at it--after my assistant so kindly gave me her input to organizing it. (Thanks T!)
Will skate in the next hour, take Pip to a party by 11--I will stay downtown and work while she is at the party. Starbucks here I come...
Mist stayed over night at yet another party last night. She has the best social life ever. She and her friend again decided to dress up for this one too. I have pics of Lord Voldumort--she refuses to let me post them--there is even a video--it is hilarious! I wish she would let me post them :(

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spicy Salsa

First I have to tell you how adorable Pip can be. The other morning, I asked her if she would like to watch the video I took of her singing. She was very excited and said, "yes." I sat her down in front of my computer and played her the Blog post below.

She watched it and her face fell in shock. "I DON'T sound beautiful!" she cried.
I said, "Yes, you do. I love your singing. Why don't you  like it?"
"I sound HORRIBLE!" she said, little tears starting in her eyes.
My heart was breaking, I said, "You don't sound horrible. What's wrong with the way you sing?"
"I sound like a BABY!" she shouted in disgust.
"No, you don't. You sound like a four year old. And you are four. You won't sound like an adult until you're an adult like Mommy."
That seemed to calm her a bit. It is amazing how young the human mind starts having preconceived notions of how we think we should be and how we actually view ourselves. I think she expected to hear herself sounding just like the Glee cast.

Yay for the weekend. I had a whirlwind week--trying desperately to get caught up after so many days in bed. I had so many shopping trips to take the girls on for costumes for parties and presents for even more parties. Even though one Bday party was not a costume party, Mist and a friend decided to surprise the host by arriving at the door, dressed as Voldumort (the two headed beast from Harry Potter). The costume was hilarious. We purchased once of those dreadful "Snuggies" from Walmart and I sewed the back closed for them. We had such fun trying on the Snuggie before hand and killing ourselves laughing at the ridiculousness of such a garment.

 I had to create an entire lesson from scratch yesterday morning to teach in the afternoon: salsa basic dance steps. It turned out to be really fun to teach. And yes, it has inspired me to take more salsa--asap. The supervisor taped me teaching--dear God, it was not pleasant to watch. I rather liked my teaching style--I was very happy and enthusiastic. But my posture looked like it sucked! Must work on that.
Today I am finally getting back at being outdoors. I am very excited to be doing the Paul's Tomb hike this morning with Fernando (believe me, no one could possibly be happier than Fernando that I am up and at it again)! Want to skate too before the down town rink totally melts.

Egypt is still on for Peter (or so Alla thinks). Alla says, "It is not dangerous, 2 days of rioting and only 2 people killed. That is not dangerous." But really, how can they go if they close the borders? Don't worry, I won't let him go if, on the day they fly, things have not returned to calm in Cairo.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Stop Believing

Little Pip singing. I could have downloaded the entire song but I think the short clip is fun. She is adorable and often belts out this song when we are out together--she always gets a lot of smiles.

Finally feel better! Not up to my run tomorrow though--I'll take it easy until Friday at the earliest. I had a  fever for 5 days. I haven't felt that ill since last January! Why is it I always get sick every January?  I would book myself another trip to Hawaii but we are going at Christmas--don't want to over do it... 

Must teach my lesson to new students on Friday since I missed my class on Wednesday. I tailored everything towards all of the young Arab male Engineering students in my class--must find out who my new students are in case I need to change my lesson. Hope I am up for it. And yikes! I postponed the deadline for my conference paper and then went and got sick and didn't write a word of it! Gotta get going on a few things...

Tabs had choir tonight. I dropped her off at the RC for the Arts and she insisted on taking my cell phone with her (she never has before). Peter was to pick her up at 5:30. He called at 5:40--he was still at the Uni, just finished a meeting. I freaked. My baby girl all alone down town at the Arts Centre at night! I knew I could make it down there faster than Peter so I loaded up Pip, called Tabs on my cell to make sure she was safe and drove straight there. I found the little darling sitting alone at a table near the closed cafe. Her teacher and all the students had long gone. She said to me, "aren't you glad I brought your cell phone with me? It was women's intuition!"

So many birthday parties this weekend. Mist is going to 2 and Pip to another: a "Spa Party" for little girls.

Peter has been headhunted this month for 2 jobs. One is in Wellington New Zealand and the other Moose Jaw Saskatchewan....hmm...now that's a hard choice! lol
Peter is happy at UBC but you know me, an adventure junkie. I say New Zealand or bust! My girls take after me. They've already packed up the house in their minds and decided what dolls to bring. I heard Victoria University in Wellington has an amazing creative writing Dept. :)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Dance Party at UBC







Pics taken Friday night at a dance party held at UBC--retirement party for Peter's boss.
I would say more but right after this party I came down with a mystery fever/chills and aches. It is Monday morning and I feel the worst so far. DOn't know what it is because I don't have any respiratory symptoms at all. Just loss of appitite, malaise, aches and a 38 + oC fever. I feel horrible this morning. I have to teach tomorrow and prepare an entire lesson not to mention my papers! But I am too ill to do it yet. Had a bladder infection start last week--on anitbiotics for that. Don't know if this is another virus on top of that or the infection is worse than I thought :( Will go to Doc tomorrow as I need more antibiotics anyway.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still Waiting...

Me taken right now...at the Rotary Centre for the Arts as I wait for Tabs to finish choir practice. Don't I look like a whole lot of fun?
I don't look nearly as rough as I feel though.
 It has been a difficult January. Can a January be anything else in Canada? How much more winter--short cloudy days and long, cold and black nights--can a human being endure each year? And I know as a Canadian I am spoiled--The Okanagan Valley being one of the warmest climates in Canada.

I want to talk and meet with a friend I haven't seen in awhile yet all I have is her phone number. Why is it that I freeze at a phone number, yet can't stop my fingers from typing in an email address---even when I probably should? (I have a tendency to become addicted to digital communication).

I find my mind becoming very restless--wanting escape. Physical escape to an exotic location or mental escape through some new and exciting friendship. When neither seems to develop, one is in for a bad case of the January Blues. Especially when one is finished writing all the fun stuff and is faced with endless days of editing a thesis manuscript...

 This morning was rough. I sliced my hand very deep on a broken glass and then forgot Pip had a field trip--took her to school to find it empty, raced home to re-read newsletter and find field trip address, sped through town to get her to the bakery on time. Then Tabs had forgotten a huge bag of heavy text books at home and I had to deliver that to her at school. I tried to work on my thesis but my mind is a mess and I managed only an hour :(

Started an instructional design class at UBC last evening--for grad students. 4 students total. Me and 3 young Arab engineer male students--fresh from Dubai, Iran etc. 

 Peter is so lucky to be escaping to Egypt next month and a quick stop in York, UK. 

Where should I go, what should I do? I can think of a Buddhist retreat, a realism painting workshop or a writing fiction workshop. But it has to be international calibre. I have enough air-mile points to go anywhere Alaska Air flies. 

Despite my brain feeling like a bag of marbles left in the freezer--weird I know, but it actually describes how I feel at the moment--I have a very busy week left. Tomorrow I start another Zumba class, Friday a going away party/dance for Peter's boss who is retiring from UBC, Saturday Tabs Birthday party sleepover with bowling, movie etc, Sunday Mist and Tabs audition for a local play. They have to bring a prepared song, but so far I have not heard either of them sing a note! But with 3 children and a dog, I cannot police every activity they choose to do. 

Was planning Sizzling Corpse yoga tonight but I really need to get out and do something more exciting. I have emailed Peter to suggest we go out once I bring Tabs home. 

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wake Up!

Weekend of oddities.
Peter and I went to True Grit on Friday. The movie was all right. Jeff Bridges, MAtt Damon and the Steinfield little girl were all very good. The ending was weak though--the Cohen Brothers really got lazy with that ending.
Saturday was spent around a play Tabitha was in "The Emperor's New Clothes." She was singing in the choir. Mistaya and her friend volunteered all day as dressers for the event. The final performance was in the evening and we all attended along with my niece Anemone. Tabs was very expressive as she sang. She is brave on stage and I am so proud of my little girl!
I worked on my thesis in the morning and then went grocery shopping. The line ups were very long so I decided to take my groceries through self check out. Man, I worked hard! It was exhausting checking through all $200 + groceries and bagging them. And to make matters worse, the "attendant" told me that self check out was for smaller orders. The nerve! There were no signs saying such a thing and the regular tills lineups were too long for the likes of me! I deserved at least a ten dollar discount for checking myself out of that store.
Felt weird afterward though. Bad headache. I had a nap once I returned home--passed out and actually went into REM sleep--had several dreams. I've never dreamed while napping. I think I was coming down with something to need such a deep sleep. And today--cramps in my intestines. Feel like I'm in labour! Have to type this laying back or the pain in my gut is excruciating.
Tried out the new outdoor ice rink this morning downtown. Loved it. Unfortunately Pip was tired and cranky all day and we left early.
Tabs and I spent the entire afternoon cleaning out her bedroom--putting a lot  in storage. She and Pip share a bedroom and their room is so over stuffed, it is impossible to keep tidy let alone clean! It is much better now though.
Wanted a spoil Queen MJ night tonight: treat, a movie. Went to the movie store and couldn't find anything. Went to DQ and it was closed :(
Start a class next week--instructional design, also Sizzling Corpse Yoga and Zumba. Will wait for latin dance until spring when the nights are still light--it is a rough part of town and if I must dance alone, I want it to be day light when I exit the class each evening.
Tired of writing--so much info. Now to organize all of it :(

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Communication Revolution: Forward Ever, Backward Never!

Fernando's
I took the girls out for supper last night to a new Mexican Restaurant called Fernando's. Of course we had to try it out since I love Mexican food and our darling dog is named Fernando. Peter was in Vancouver at meetings.
It was very busy down town last night. Fernando's was busy too and very chilly outside! We had to park about 6 blocks from the restaurant. Walking back to the van proved to be very chilly. We stopped half way at a Starbucks for hot coco.
I love being down town at night. Peter is not big on the down town but I like it. I am always on the look out for interesting people and adventure. My girls are the three most interesting persons on earth but I am always open to meeting others. Unfortunately no new interesting people out and about last night. 
Where were you other interesting people last night? Next time try and be out and about when I need you.

Just returned from my Hep A shot. Now I am immune for life. It is snowing in Kelowna. The biggest snow fall ever last night and today. The snow plows can't keep up!
Tabs is home with a sore throat--too much choir! The girl has belonged to 3 separate choirs this past two months! She sings for an hour + daily. However, I believe it is actually a cold type virus. Pip has had it this past week too.
Tonight, Peter is finally home from Van. Date night! I am wanting to see a movie down town. Hope it stops snowing so we can. Sometimes, the snow plows stop working after 4PM so if it snows a lot after that, one cannot make it up the mountain until they plow the next morning.

Excited as I dropped my quest to find Buddhist sanga in Kelowna (community). The pressure to meditate with a group shut me down. I prefer to meditate alone, just before bed and get my sanga from a yearly visit to a ashram. I honestly don;t have 2 hours each week to meditate at the yoga house in the evening. I am too busy. And honestly, my personality is one that likes action. I am doing hot yoga and Zumba in the evenings instead. Zumba instead of latin dance because #1 I can't find a willing male dance partner: if you are out there please give me a call! #2 Zumba is at Tabs school gym at night--a five minute drive--convieniencce means a lot to me in the evening! Bikram's is too expensive. They don't give student discounts and they don't do punch cards. However hot yoga is offering $12 a time student classes this year--so I am taking them up on it Monday evenings. Yes, the floor is heated along with the room to over 100 degress F. I feel like a piece of bacon sizzling around during corpse pose--but beggars can't be choosers!

My paper was accepted for an international conference--YAY! It means though, writing like a crazed woman for 2 weeks to make the final copy deadline. I love my thesis though. Good stuff. I am so happy with my research. It is very exciting. I may not be able to leave academia behind after my MA is done--I love feeling connected to something much bigger than me and my research--this whole communication revolution is a fun ride!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Zen Studio Workout

Here is the work out I do 3x a week. On 2 days I also run for about 25 min (hills). In addition I always do sports throughout the week for fun that I don't consider working out such as skating or skiing or mountain hiking.

My video is real and all me. I am in my early 40's, have given birth to 3 children and am not a professional athlete or trainer and have never had any cosmetic surgery procedures. My workout keeps me very fit and I hope it helps those who requested to know what exercises I do in my home studio.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mistaya's 70s Party



We celebrated Mistaya's 14th last month. She chose a 1970s theme.

Typing up my thesis research. Overwhelming is all I can say. Too much information. I could write ten different PhDs on this topic.

Snowing in Kelowna. Peter and I went out for tacos last night (we brought the girls home pizza). The restaurant was playing the hockey game so loudly that we decided to drive and eat at a lovely mountain lookout spot. All was well until we reached the summit. The roads were horrible and slippery! Never eat your supper on a mountain top when it's snowing! Bad idea. I was too stressed to eat up top--afraid we'd not be able to make it down the mountain without sliding off a cliff. 

Organized my winter which makes my mind feel at ease. When one is self employed as a student or artist, one must script one's entire life--otherwise it is easy to get side tracked and stumble into an unbalance life. Because I don't have to be somewhere specific, working with people each day--I must create times and places for socialization. I get bored and lonely easily. Well, not easily--but I am super social. My schedule is pretty busy with working during the day and evenings out and about--I hope I can motivate my butt out the door every evening! I need to for socialization but sometimes the dark and the cold and the slippery roads make it too easy to want to stay home and download a movie in bed!

Tomorrow Tabs tries out for a play while I take Mist and Pip skating on the new outdoor rink downtown. 

I'm going to start walking Fernando each evening after supper. The children cannot be counted on to do it during day light hours and I don't want them out and about in the dark--so I must do it for dear Fernando's sake. Aside from running with me and play dates with Fozzy-- he doesn't get out much.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 2011

January is upon us and I am celebrating the birthdays of Peter and Tabitha. This picture is of Peter's party. I made him a Death by Chocolate Mousse-Cheesecake. I made up the recipe based on combining a few recipes and inventing here and there. It was to die for (almost).
Tabs spent her birthday (yesterday) at Big White skiing with Mist, her cousin Nem and Uncle John. John was kind enough to ski with 3 little gals all day. Tabs got her own new downhill ski equipment for her birthday. This is the year everyone receives ski equipment for their birthday. Next fall I am buying us all ski passes at Crystal Mountain (20 min from Kelowna). We will all be experts by year's end. Peter seriously damaged his knee snowboarding at Christmas and is awaiting an MRI to see what is up. I believe if he heals well he will go back to skiing and leave boarding for the under 20's. In boarding you fall hard. No escaping it. In skiing, one can actually fall softly.

Waiting for darling niece Artemisia to arrive for a play date with Pip and then I am off to work in my home office. No review board for me anymore! Axed the survey so I don't need ethics review for my study. Full speed ahead on my thesis writing now!
Peter and I saw Black Swan last evening. Weird. Not as good as I thought it would be. I believe they should have delved into the retiring ballerina's life a bit more (Winnona Rider). And a little more into the mother/daughter relationship (Natalie Portman/Barbara Hershey). The dancer's (Portman) innocence and obsession with perfection were well portrayed though. People are so hard on innocent young women--acting like they are freaks if they are sexually naive. I hate that about society. Leave the darling young women alone! 

I am rewarding myself with a trip once I pass my MA review. I haven't decided where yet. Some ideas:
1. Spain & Greece.  2. France  3. India to study with the Dalai Lama  4. Japan

Not a whole bunch on New Year's Resolutions. A few plans though:

-Finish MA in 3 months time.
-Start 1 Bikram's yoga class each week.
-Start Buddhist meditations at Yoga House Monday nights.
-Skate downtown on rink with girls each Tuesday night at 6:30 until it melts.
-Sign up for an international writer's conference and painting work shop once MA complete.
-Sign up for Lake Country Art Walk for this fall.
-Find part time teaching job for next fall.
-Organize writing/painting studio times each day for summer and fall.
-Paint with local group once/week.
-publish Queen and Pizzaface novels (hardcopy and digital).
-Purchase 3 lenses for camera: portrait, macro and super zoom for wildlife.

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