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Monday, February 28, 2011

Skiing Whitewater, British Columbia

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Three Tiger Cubs




My girls love to photograph themselves on photo booth. I discover dozens of new photos they've taken of themselves each week. The newest photographer is Pip. She'll get on my computer and before you know it, have taken a series of about 30 photos of herself in various poses.

I am working all weekend. Borrowing Peter's UBC office to write on my thesis. I hope to accomplish much. So far I have found one study validator from amongst the covert stuffy culture on facebook--a fellow writer. I found out this writer has an Mfa and a Bfa from Emily Carr--so cool. I love that some of the covert writers are artists and Canadians like me! I need to find an ethnographer at UBC to also validate my study. I will work on that this week.

The cold arctic weather is finally leaving BC tomorrow. So I am saving my mountain hike for tomorrow morning--it should be a little warmer by then.

Tabs and I had a date night last night. She chose shopping at the mall and out for supper. I love my date nights with the wee gals. Tabs was inspired to purchase beads with letters on them and then proceeded to make three bracelets last night--one for her and her 2 best friends. One bracelet said "Best" the next "friends" and the third "forever."
I am extremely disappointed in how the soccer has been managed this year. 3 major tryouts to discover Tabs did not make the 1st level team. So unfair. Because she is a good soccer player and really top notch defense girl. I am an angry mother Tiger about it. No one messes with my babies. This whole level thing is new this season. ALL kids soccer is in levels now--there is no more just "soccer for kids." All teams require levels and tryouts and divide old, life-long team mates and friends (she's been playing since age 5 with all the same girls). She may decide to play this year but is also considering trying out baseball as she has always wanted to play but had no time because of soccer.

Mist and Pip still recovering from respiratory bugs. The girls will hang with their dad all weekend while I work.

I am feeling a little excited about my career plans.

 1. Get a job! My goal is to teach college but I will take anything that gets me there along the way:communications, fine arts, English, creative writing....anything they will let me.
2. Paint Renaissance style wild life on the side for $ (will need to study in France to learn this technique. Gregory said he will hold my deposit until I can come. I do hope it is within this year).
3. Keep writing and publishing my fiction.
4. Teach Zumba for fun (will train for this and continue to study forms of latin dance for fun).
5. Once my painting and writing starts to bring in $$$, I can cut back on my teaching load eventually.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sparkle Plenty

Pic is of Tabs at age 2--taken on Shuswap Lake, BC. One of my favourites because it highlights her blonde afro. My dad called her "Sparkle Plenty" at this age, because of her blonde curls and big blue eyes.

Tabs is so excited lately as she has made a new friend and they find each other fascinating. It is exciting to witness little girls falling in love with each other. The new friend is coming over after school today.

Today was the coldest day I have ever jogged on. This morning I ran for about ten minutes with Fernando in mittens and a toque. But my hands froze solid because the wind was probably 70 km/h and so COLD! I ran home and by that time my hands were numb. I actually cried as they thawed out in pain. Once thawed, I put on my ski mittens, a heavy new toque and an extra down vest and headed out again. The last stretch was so windy and cold I vowed to never jog on such a cold morning ever again. It is unusually windy and cold for this time of year!

 I am up all night listening to the wind howl.
Last night I dreamed of 2 giant raccoons that morphed into tigers--they'd both hurt their paws and were limping... I wanted to help them but didn't know how to go about it as they were dangerous wild animals and afraid of me to boot.

Pip home with bronchitis. Mist home with a sore throat (it has been a bad year for sore throats in this house).

France is off. A meditation retreat instead for ten days. There is so much I'd love to do but my focus will be on finding a job as soon as I hand in my thesis. I already applied to graduate this spring. I meet with my supervisor tomorrow.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Field

 My mind/life is a mess at the moment. I will blog again once I am able to. The same goes for my facebook friends. I will get back on facebook soon. A friend mentioned a Buddhist saying that I like: I will meet you in the field between right and wrong.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nelson BC: Hippy/Party Town

My sister Theresa and me
Behind the scenes inthe kitchen (Sierra is in the black and white dress--Kyran's girl friend)
Kyran amd me
The chocolate/wine and jam tasting station
Joop and I
Party in full swing
Kyran and Harris
Tired but up fairly early considering I was up at T's party until 1:45 a.m. My sister throws the best parties. This one was a 'Quality' Party--teams judge which food product was the most expensive to the least expensive. She had 3 samples per food item and the foods included: chocolate, wine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, jam, olives, cheese, soy sauce, olive oil , etc. I helped her prep for the party a bit and one of my jobs was the chocolate chopper--ya, me the chocolate junkie. Let's just say I felt a little nauseous by the time the party started. Our team tied for first place and T had an auction for the winners to bid on prizes. The appies were amazing too, cooked by Theresa and her son Kyran. T hired many of Kyran's friends to help with the party. The only battle was Kyran and I over our ipods. He hates some of my music and kept turing it off :(  He's too cool for pop and well, I love pop because it is so danceable and I love to dance.
I chatted with many interesting artists--always a treat as I meet so few in Kelowna. And only studio artists get all the craziness associated with being a studio artist. Although I have taken a break from painting to finish my thesis, I will be back at it with a vengeance. I am leaving in early April for an intensive 2 wk workshop on Renaissance painting techniques. So, talking with artists was much appreciated. I am flying on air-mile points so my flight is a little weird: Seattle, San Francisco and then Paris. I will take a train to Bordeaux and then onto the tiny Southern French town where the atelier is located. So cool. I am so excited.

Earlier in the day yesterday, I went skiing at Whitewater with Kyran, Joop and K's girlfriend Sierra. It was fun. At first difficult because I hated my equipment (I rented). It was crap. However, after lunch in the amazing ski hill restaurant (yes, Whitewater is the only ski hill in the world that has an award winning restaurant with healthy and delicious food--I had a bean/nut burger on whole wheat with yam fries), I had two amazing runs and by my last run I felt one with the mountain once again. It was very inspirational and makes me want to ski more and more. It was the most beautiful day: dark blue clear ski with towering white mountains. BTW, I wanted to gain a little weight--I lost too much the last month--and guess what? I came to the right place. Theresa, Joop and Kyran feed me the most delicious food. I am sure I will go home having gained all the weight I wanted to. All I know is I have been eating big time!

And finally, a quick note to say my bus trip down was the best. Who knew I would enjoy the Greyhound? I had a seat to myself, had 5 glorious hours vegging with my ipod. The driver was so cool: sang 70s folk songs to announce every stop and worked in the name of the town. He offered me a job driving the Calgary route (lol). And my sunglasses were stolen but I got them back. They were my favourites I bought in Malaysia, my 'Armanis'.
That about sums up one of my few solo weekends to date since I had children. Though, I hear Peter is entertaining our little darlings royally with UBC Basketball games and burgers for supper.
Kisses to my babies xxxx

I am sleeping up in the third floor attic and so is Kyran's friend Harris. T had mentioned, "I hope Harris doesn't try to sleep in your room tonight because that's always where he sleeps when he stays over." So about 3 a.m. I hear Harris stumbling up the stairs and fussing with the door across the hall, in my sleepy state I remember T's message and said, "Sorry, I'm in here tonight!" It was funny because I was sooo out of it and Harris was like, "Ya, I know, I'm over in here." It was funny, felt a little like a 1960s sitcom.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pip's Ab-Ripper

Tabs took this pic of Pip and I working out in Zen Studio. She sometimes toddles downstairs early in the morning and joins me. She's really good at Tony's Ab-Ripper X DVD. Tabs happened to beat me down there and was busy sitting in front of the fire by 6 a.m. doing her homework. I am fortunate that my girls are very self motivated at doing thier homework. They will set their alarms and get up super early to get the job done.

Tabs had a great day yesterday: she won a local pharmacy colouring contest for Valentine's Day. We picked up her basket full of wondrous things yesterday. Of course, Pip had entered the same contest and no amount of soothing could calm her hysteria at the fact that she did not win (threw herself face down on floor in corner of room and cried). I finally had to pretend that she won a prize too but had to pick it up the next day...
Tabs also found out she has a part in a summer community theatre play in August. That means both Mist and Tabs will be acting this summer.

Pip and I start speech classes again next week. Her speech has improved dramatically and we love to spend time together at the classes--it is fun playing games one on one and Pip has such a great sense of humour.
She is so cute at preschool--every week it seems she has a new little boy friend. Her teacher Tracy told me yesterday that Pip laughed and laughed all through lunch at Seth's jokes and Seth was really putting it on trying to impress her. They are so cute!

Tomorrow I leave for Nelson. Before I do I must take Tabs to yet another soccer tryout in the morning.
I am organizing my thesis info--basically it is all written. I just need to put it all into the appropriate chapters. 
Just got in from a good run with Fernando. Zumba tonight. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

Pippi this morning on her way to her preschool party.
Tabs baked her favourite cinnamon cupcakes for her class. She does everything herself--I don't even know she's  in the kitchen baking until I see all the cupcakes neatly arranged in a tupperware container ready for school. She is amazing. And my Mist is so tall. Over 5'8" now and growing...

Feeling the pressure...what in the F do I always get myself into?
Found out just now my paper has been accepted at a conference on March 1st--actually it is a presentation at Summerhill Winery--in fact, having a little glass of Summerhill's organic Sirah to get myself pumped. It should be tons of fun but work too of course.
Then I have 2 months to learn to speak French as my painting workshop starts in the South of France on April 11th and my French sucks. And between now and then I must complete my thesis. I am meeting with my supervisor next week so things should be ok. Just a lot of work.
 I am ok about all of the work. It is all exciting and enjoyable things I am doing and all of it will benefit my future whether I do a PhD or start teaching this fall? Regardless, I cannot start a Ph.D. this fall--too soon. Yes, I enjoy all of the work I am doing so why do I feel stressed? Don't really know. Must go with the flow...


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Night Skiing at Big White

Me and Mist
Tabs and I
My gals getting tired after many runs
Me at Big White

It is always a beautiful treat to be on the mountain at night. Tabs, Mist and I had the best time skiing. We stuck to green runs. Tabs was so adorable: she put her ski boots on in the van when we first arrived. It was dusk out, so she couldn't see what she was doing very well. So, later on, after many runs and with the night full upon us, she complained to me that her ankles hurt--her ski boots were rubbing. I looked down and to my dismay, discovered she had her ski boots on the wrong feet! No wonder they hurt! I reminded her that the clasps go toward the outside. On one hand my heart was breaking for her sore ankles and on the other, I found the whole thing hilarious and had to stifle my laughter as to not hurt her feelings. Ski boots on the wrong feet look so...well... totally wrong!We stopped and changed her boots and all was well for the rest of the night. She only fell once and did a face plant. Mist helped her--losing one of her poles in the process. But we skied until the last chair. Pip didn't want to ski so Peter took her skating. Then they had hot cocoa by the big bon fire beside the rink.
A beautiful night...

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Friday, February 11, 2011

We Did It!

Tabs and her best buddy Mickey
Skating with Tabs class on Wednesday

Had so much fun skating with Tabs' class. Especially when all the children were called to board the bus home and I had the ice to myself for five glorious minutes. Now that was a skate...I loved it.

Yes, we did it! Thank-you Theresa and Peter for your help. We butchered my paper and got it under 5000 words :'(
The good news is all of the brilliant cuts can still be used in my thesis :)
It is ready for submission--after my 50 word author's statement and photo. What photo shall I submit? None of mine are very business like.

Very happy--excited about much. This afternoon we leave for night skiing at BigWhite. I am packing sandwiches for supper. Peter's knee is still damaged from his fall snowboarding at Christmas so he will stay with Pip on the baby hill. I will take the big girls and hit the slopes.

What else? Peter's Egyptian Visa came on the same day the Egyptian president stepped down. So...perhaps the trip will come to pass. He is going to Cairo and Alexandria to check out their universities and review some of their programs--helping them modernize their programs.

Zumba was so much fun last night--met an old friend of mine there and chatted a bit. But I had an allergic reaction to something I ate--horrible stomach pain and giant hives on my arms??? Don't have a clue what it was perhaps a chemical in something.
The zumba teacher went to Tabs' school this week and taught her class some basic Zumba steps. Tabs  loved it! She is a chip off the old block.

Mistaya got a call back from an audition for a local theatre. They want her to be in a musical this summer--I am excited for her.

I purchased the most amazing boots yesterday. Hand made in Portugal. Teal lace ups. Perfect with jeans and skirts. I will wear them to T's party I believe. I seldom buy shoes--I only buy the best and the coolest--that way them are so unique they never go out of style. 

And I found the best Renaissance painting workshop in the South of France. I would study under Gregory P.--an Italian artist trained in USA. I will have 35 studio instructional hours--he will teach me the Renaissance technique of painting oil and egg tempera for more luminescent paintings. It is a very good price for room and board and lessons. The ateliar is open to me day and night. I have always wanted to learn this. It is a dream come true. The workshop is ten days in late April. That means I have 2 months to completely finish my thesis/masters degree and two months to practice my French. Gregory is already a great teacher as he wants to communicate online to discuss and plan my work. Because it is ten days only, I must arrive with my canvas ready and sketched--so I can begin painting as soon as I arrive. I hope to use this skill to teach workshops here in BC on my return and perhaps (because I have a BEd and MA) I can help teach the workshops with Gregory in the future--yes, I have big plans--just don't tell Gregory...

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

She Loves Me More than Vernon!

My new favourite toque--I need it today--it is so cold!

Waiting at Starbucks to leave for skating with Tabs class. I have worked this morning and now I am burnt. But I only have 1/2 h until I need to meet them skating so I will blog until then.

Paper a challenge. It is as chopped as I can make it. Anymore editing and it will be crap--with the biblio and figures it must be under 5000 words. It is so frustrating. I cannot take out anymore! 

Went to "The King's Speech" last night. Very well done. 

This morning Pip said to me "I love you more than the whole world."
I said, "I love you more than the universe." She thought a moment on how to top that and said,
"I love you more than the whole Hawaii and Vernon." lol
Happy to know she loves me more than Vernon of all places!

Exited about night skiing on Friday at Big White. 
And the next weekend I'm off to help T host her big "Quality Party" in Nelson. T is so funny she's been promoting my arrival as "the sister who is doing the interesting thesis is coming." There will be dancing and karaoke--what more could a girl want?
 But first, another day of skiing at Whitewater with my nephew. Though I told him: "I don't do jumps, trees or moguls." That put a damper on his plans I think...

Oh, yes...blogging is so much more fun than paper writing. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

Globe & Mail Photo

My photo of Fernando made it in the Globe & Mail! It should still be there today.
Isn't he a little doll?
He's my new car dog--like a chubby bat out of hell, races for the van and there is no way he's gonna ever get out. So, I've taken to bringing him along on all my outings. He loves it. But alas, is so naughty: eats and rolls in car garbage bag, smells a little raunchy at times, eats any bags of groceries in back...Yes, car dog is his new career, but he's not so good at his job just yet.

Up early, already finished my workout. Start paper this morning at my Starbucks office--Pip will stay until 2 p.m. at school. Things are looking up. Got a one week extension on my paper--so rest my weary assistant Horace!

BTW my sister is going to be a big star! She got a role in a movie--with only one audition! YAY Theresa! I can hardly wait to find out what role they're offering her.

Looking forward to a little F.A. this week (farting around). I want to take the girls to the water slides, and night skiing this Friday at Big White--must keep my spirits high considering I'll be driving my sis and family to the airport on Thursday as they and my Momma head for Hawaii...sigh...I LOVE Hawaii!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Lord Voldemort Needs Rest

Mist and friend as Lord Voldemort. She and her friend have so much fun dressing up together. They've decided to dress as wizards every Friday at school. Mist has such a fun sense of spirit--chip off the old block, I dare say!

So...I write tonight because I have spent the entire evening in my bed. Mistaya is at yet another sleep over party, Peter brought the little girls home pizza and I canceled everthing off my schedule and lay here--head on pillow...practically in a coma. And just now...I am starting to feel alive again. I was a mess of exhaustion: getting up early, little sleep, going hard working out and working on my papers etc.
I had even stopped eating. Every once in a while I loose my appetite and start to get too thin. I know I have crossed the line when the bath tub becomes uncomfortable because of the bones in my butt. That is what has happened again. So, it is so important for me to get my appetite back.
I think how it happened is that I eat a low sugar diet (I believe this to be of optimum health) so I naturally keep quite thin on this. And then I developed the mother of all bladder infections and was in bed with a fever for a week--no appetite. And it just kept going....
The good news is just moments ago, I could raise my head off my pillow and felt hungry! I ate some left over spaghetti squash au gratin I had made last night, and some chocolate for dessert.
 I feel much better. Rest was so needed. When I am stressed I tend to just want to be out, working out: running, hiking, dancing , etc. But what I really need is to just lay flat on my back in bed for a night and talk to and or see absolutely NO ONE!

This rest will be short lived, I am working for the rest of the weekend starting tomorrow. Peter will take Tabs and Pip to Kamloops to pick up our new LG washer--my dear, sweet parents found one on sale for us and bought it before it could be snapped up by others! Mist will be home afternoon--and she will entertain herself as I write like I've never written before.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bring On Spring

Just me and a couple of my little hippy chicks. I love that Fernando can be seen sneaking off into the forest in the distance.

Up early, awaiting the first crack of dawn so I can head out on a run with Fernando.
The groundhog did not see her shadow yesterday (Pip) so spring is on the way! Pip was born on groundhog day so she will always be my little spring indicator. Pip had a wonderful birthday. Her preschool teacher Tracy is such a kind, generously spirited person. We could not be more lucky to have her as Pip's teacher. Yesterday they spent a small portion of the day "cuddling" as Pip was having one of her moments.

Really wanted to visit my mom this weekend. She was going to help Tabs with a science project. But alas, I will not have time to drive to Kamloops if my paper is to be finished for Monday. Tabs is very distressed about this. I am unsure of what to do at this point. My mom and crew leave for Hawaii next Wednesday--so there is very little time to get together.

So looking forward to handing in my thesis and starting the next chapter of my life. There is so much left to accomplish, explore and love.

Tonight I have Zumba and parent/teacher interviews. Tomorrow night Latin dance. I believe these bursts of dance will pull me through to the other side of my thesis, if nothing else.

Disappointed the Kooteny retreat doesn't start up until April. I so wanted a yoga retreat sooner.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day turns into Night

Skating downtown on Sunday--when Tabs fell and hurt her arm

Tired. Stopped at SB for a moment's rest before I head home...Day was beyond insane....
Up early to run with Fernando in the cold (-10 oC) this morning. I wore a scarf around my mouth and it actually helped with my asthma.
 Then to the school to register Pip for kindergarden (form must be returned by 3 today--well, it is 5:30 and it is still with me). Picked up Tabs and took her to doctor for wrist. She fell skating on Sunday and her wrist has not  recovered. She missed piano lessons last night as it hurt too much.
Doctor told us to go to hospital because it must be x-rayed...Pip, Tabs and I spent 5 bleeping hours in emergency. Every time I wanted to give up and leave I realized I'd only have to come back and do it all over again.
Good news is Tabs x-ray looked fine but she has considerable swelling so Doctor wants her to wear a splint for a week.
Raced home to drop off girls (who by the way were better than gold all day at that horrible hospital. And all I had to purchase were 2 small stuffies, 3 kinder-surprise eggs and a small bag of chips).
Picked up my computer etc and raced out the door to the Uni. Realized I was out of gas but no time to fill up--made it. Taught my last class. Thank G! Too tired to care how it went. Onward to finish my paper in 6 days...I can do it. I will work around the clock.
So here I sit, going next door soon to pick up a taco to bring home as I instructed Peter to pick up something for the girls. Day has turned into night and I have only had one banana and a handful of walnuts all day.
...will have to return this kindergarden sheet a day late. C'est la vie.

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