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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Reincarnation of Boo

What Happens Inside a Secret Ghost Making Laboratory:

Ghost Engineers work deep into the dark night...
Will they be ready in time for Halloween?
Nearly Complete...
Our lovely Ghost Babies must now dry over night...
Miranda and her gals and me and my gals created ghosts today to hang outside tomorrow night for Halloween. The ghosts were created with cheese cloth, a balloon and corn starch. It was a busy day of decorating and carving pumpkins. 
I am excited to be bringing Auntie Griselda up from the basement to stand on our balcony. I hope I can find her shoes! Mistaya has borrowed them off and on all year (they are exact replicas of the boots The Beatles wore in the 1960's. I bought them at Harrods in London UK in the late 1980's--when I worked there :)

Saturday night started out rather well, we (Mist and I) made homemade sushi for supper last night. It was incredibly delicious sushi. We made a whole bunch of fillings so everyone could create their own signature sushi roll: baked yam, chicken terriaki, green pepper, carrots, cucumber. I am allergic to sea food so no fish allowed! After supper I took the girls to a movie down town.
We returned from the movie Puss in Boots (I love that cat) at 9:30 . That is when the pain suddenly started for Peter. 
This is where the night went down hill... I was up all night, yet again. This time it was a trip to the emergency room with Peter at midnight. He was in unbelievable pain (back and side) and vomiting. I tried to encourage him to chant through it  (chanting got me through labour) but he refused. The doctors think it was a kidney stone. They gave him morphine and released him at 2:30 a.m.

And speaking of Puss in Boots, I need to get a cat. This is the first time in my entire life I have lived without a kitty cat to love. And I truly miss cat kisses and cuddles. I am afraid to adopt one for fear it will smell all of the spots where our last (mentally unbalanced) cat Silver peed (on our leather sofa regularly :P). But oh, how I long for another cat in my life. 

***btw, if you haven't voted for me today yet, please press the 'Top 25 Circle of Moms' button up and to your left. Then scroll down until you seeModernista Mama and vote. Thank-you so very much my friends :)

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Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Spelt Mmm...muffins

 Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip and Spelt Muffins by Mix Hart

* I made these muffins this morning for my girls. They are very picky eaters and this combination of ingredients seemed to suit all of their taste buds. I made up the recipe as I don't eat common wheat (modern modified wheat causes too much of an insulin spike). Spelt is an ancient relative of modern common wheat. It has a covered grain much like barley and is easier to digest. They are delicious. Enjoy!

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashion oats
2/3 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup light spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (smooth)
2 eggs
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 o

-Mix dry ingredients together. Add chocolate chips.
-In separate bowl combine wet ingredients and peanut butter. Mix well.
-Add wet bowl to dry bowl and stir until just combined.
-Place batter in greased muffin tin and bake at 400 o  for   15 minutes.

***btw, if you haven't voted for me today yet, please press the 'Top 25 Circle of Moms' button up and to your left. Then scroll down until you seeModernista Mama and vote. Thank-you so very much my friends :)

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Killing Wolves Kills Humans

Wolves in the Columbia Mountains, BC.       August 2011   Mix Hart

Killing Wolves Directly Effects Human Health:

In areas where wolves have been hunted to near extinction, diseases like hantavirus and lyme disease are increasing in humans. The hosts of these diseases (deer and small rodents) are no longer being hunted adequately. Wolves kill deer and foxes kill small rodents. In areas without wolves, coyotes kill off the foxes and the rodent populations explode. 
Furthermore, as foxes keep bird populations under control, diseases such as West Nile Virus and the Bird Flu could also be impacted by wolf hunting. In the wild, wolves hunt coyotes before Foxes. Most likely because coyotes are in direct competition for the wolves' food. This allows the fox populations to thrive. Fox then hunt rodent and bird populations. Without wolves, coyote populations explode and they in turn hunt foxes to very low numbers. This imbalance causes particular species such as deer and rodents to grow too large and they begin to move into areas populated by humans and thus the diseases they carry are spread to humans. 
Also, birds ill with disease would normally be hunted by foxes. But if there are no foxes (because of an overpopulation of coyotes) the ill birds will remain in the population, spreading disease.

***btw, if you haven't voted for me today yet, please press the 'Top 25 Circle of Moms' button up and to your left. Then scroll down until you see Modernista Mama and vote. Thank-you so very much my friends :)

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Me and the Girls

Pictures taken today at Bertram's Beach. These were the only ones in which Tabitha isn't trying to ruin the pics with crazy faces. We were together this morning as a family but have now already dispersed: Mist is out and about with a friend, Tabs is at soccer tryouts with her dad and Pip and I are at home.

Such a whirlwind last few days. Spent many nights up with an ill Pip. She is slowly recovering as you can see. She still cannot talk (laryngitis) and has a bad cough. Peter is slowly recovering from a wicked bout of gastroenteritis: vomiting and fever.  Just when I thought Pip was sleeping through the nights, Peter was up sick all night and of course, so was I :P

Taught my last ZumbAtomics class of my first session on Friday and we had a mini concert for the parents. It was much fun. I also taught Thursday night at UBC and was greeted in the ball room by hundreds of banquet tables and chairs! I requested another hour of pay if I am expected to put away ballroom chairs (and received it). But an entire ballroom of tables and chairs is too much for one dance instructor to put away before class. I must renegotiate terms next session. I absolutely love teaching though and am trying to teach at least one class a weekday.

Attended a course at Okanagan College on how to publish an eBook all day yesterday--very informative and exciting. I am so busy writing and soon to be publishing, painting and dancing. I'm going to start my own small publishing company. Who knew my career would come together in such a way? It seems to be falling into place and I am loving all of it. All the preliminary work I did while my babies were preschool age has set the stage: painting, writing, M.A. degree, Zumba instructor training. It is all merging now that my youngest baby (Pip) has started kindergarten. Each of my fields of study and interest are fitting together and complementing each other in such a way that I am very happy and excited about my work.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Painting Wolves

Picture taken by me in August in the Columbian Mountains. The wolves are from the Northern Lights Wolf Centre.
My darling Pip is home sick today. She has a very sore throat and a cough. It is most likely the same virus her sister Tabs just recovered from. It has Pip very out of sorts. She cried, in a very confused state, most of the night. I brought her into bed with me (Peter decided to move to the sofa) and she tossed, and turned and cried all night. As I write this she is asleep on the sofa with her darling dog Fernando resting his head on her. Fernando loves Pip so much. He is content to sleep beside her on the sofa all morning. Her cough sounds very short and abrupt like a seal bark.
I missed a coffee date with a friend and could not get a hold of her to cancel. I left a message with the restaurant to tell her I couldn't make it.
Worried about my baby. I hope this virus passes quickly. Tabs was down for at least six days with it.

More and more teaching opportunities for Zumba keep trickling in. This is good. It's physically exhausting to teach as I dance full out for an entire hour, but I figure I can teach up to 4h a day of kids classes or probably 3h adult. Anymore and I think I'd wear out my knees.
Happy that Alumni can take my UBC Zumba classes. It opens it up to a few more people. I hope some of my former classmates try it out :)

Starting my first wolf painting. I am painting with water soluble oil paints. One has to paint fat over thin  (glazing) or wet on wet all at once (alla prima)--so the painting dries without cracking . This is difficult because I have a tendency to want to do both at once. I cannot otherwise the painting won't work--acrylic is different, I can do both at once with that medium. I love water soluble oil as I have asthma and I cannot paint with traditional oils because of the toxic fumes and acrylic fumes bother me more than water soluble oils as well.  Wish me luck--I must be very careful applying the paint as this wolf series means a lot to me. Well, to be honest, every painting I do means a lot to me so whatever...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Baby Pip

Tabitha took these portraits of her little sister Pip. She has been asking me when I will put them on my blog. The answer is today Tabby! I finally have written a blog that suits this series.

My baby girl Pip, photos taken recently by her big sister Tabitha
To know Pip is to adore her. She is the most joyous and affectionate little person. She is at kindergarten as I type this and I am missing my little darling.
She usually walks to the school bus stop with her big sister Tabby but since Tabby has been ill with a flu type virus, I have asked a little  neighbour (and friend of my girls) to look after Pip at school: walking her to her classroom from the bus in the morning and picking her up from her classroom and walking her back to the bus after school. The little girl is thrilled to do it as she loves younger children and she and Pip are very close. 
However, Pip reported to me this morning that she hopes she isn't left outside again today. I asked her what she meant. She said she needed a watch to tell time because yesterday morning she played on the playground with the neighbour girls too late and the girls told her they didn't have time to walk her to her classroom and that she was just to run inside by herself. 
That didn't happen. Because by the time my darling little Pip walked to the big doors where she meets her teacher, the teacher had already taken the students inside and closed the door. That particular door is locked from the outside as well as all of the peripheral doors and Pip could not open them. Only the front school doors remain open all day and Pip had no idea how to find them as she was behind the school in the play fields. She told me she just stood in the field by herself and waited until finally the principle saw her and came and got her and walked her to her class.
The thought of my baby girl standing alone in the play field, after the bell had rung, waiting for someone to help her open the doors,  makes me cry. I had no idea. 
I talked with the neighbour girls this morning and told them that they have to walk her into the school because she can't open the doors by herself. The girls promised to do this and I trust them because they are good kids. I also instructed Pip to just follow any of the kids into the school when the door is open and find her room herself. 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stomping Through Autumn

Me again (taken this week ).
I went to a talk Thursday night by Dan Buettner. He is an award winning National Geographic writer amongst other things (explorer). He was talking about Blue Zones--pockets on earth where residents live to over 100 years most often. He listed the life style traits these people had in common. It was simple, yet inspiring advice for living a long life. The main points that I gleaned from his talk:

-An attitude that the World won't come to me, I must go to the world.
-Fresh plant rich diet (meat only a celebratory food).
-Walk everywhere you need to go daily.
-Community! Meet with a social group several times a week minimum. Daily is the very best.
-NEVER retire. Retirement is a concept that does not exist in Blue Zones.
-Elders must live with extended family. The elders work. They are expected to garden, care for children, help cook etc. And most importantly they are expected to help nurture and love all those around them. They have a real, important purpose in the family (these are people who are 100 +).

Tabitha has been home with a very sore throat and fever. She missed our ZumbAtomics class last evening. I missed my little darling but the class went well despite her absence. My niece Anemone had to be my #1 helper for the night. I have been so very busy trying to expand my Zumba network. So far I have several leads for more classes in the new year. My UBC class is a lot of work because I arrive there and the ball room is filled with chairs--it takes a lot of time and requires student help to stack them all--my class starts late :(
And now,  a serious plug for Zumba: I burn 1000 calories every single class I teach. It is the most amazing and fun way to be in the best physical shape of your life. I have never been fitter or stronger. Yes, I lift weights 3x a week, and do ab exercises 5x a week and run 1x a week as well, but the majority of my fitness is dancing Zumba up to 8x a week for an hour each class.

I am excited to be going to Portland, Oregon in December to take more Zumba training with Gina Grant. Gina is a super-star dancer. She, the founder of Zumba (Beto) and another dancer are currently on tour with Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias--they dance a few Zumba numbers during the concert.  I was so surprised that Gina even has time to still teach the odd training session that I jumped at the chance to be trained by her.

Busy getting organized with the rest of my goals as well. Trying to find a studio to rent etc. Because I am self employed, I hold a staff meeting with myself every Monday morning to organize the weeks goals/tasks. Of course, I am managing to move ahead with my art/writing career in baby steps until my thesis is finally defended next month and I am FINALLY done with my M.A. This is me once I am finished next month: :D  Also, I need meditation and Buddhism in my life. To have a community to meet with where I live is a goal of mine too. Sometimes things take priority over this quest (like building my career) but I feel it when I don't pursue spirituality as a priority in my life. Life gets so much more difficult. I have many interests and goals in life. Sometimes life can get a little overwhelming managing everything :P

Mist had a friend sleep over last night and little Pip is beside me as I write this, drawing away. Pip is enjoying kindergarten. The neighborhood kids all look out for her and like to hold her hand on the way to school, carry her back pack for her and let her sit beside them on the bus. I am especially grateful for this help when Tabs is sick and Pip must go to school on her own.

Mist returned from another Me to We Vancouver  this week. She spent the night in Vancouver. This year some of the guest speakers/ performers were: Mikhail Gorbachev, The Shaq, Mia farrow, Hedley, Down With Webster--pretty cool line up!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photography & Me

I love to take photographs. I received a request  to make sure I keep my readers posted each time my photos make it in the Globe and Mail. So, here are the latest ones. Hope you enjoy them :)
The last three are still in the Globe and Mail online today if you check: Reader's photos of Thanksgiving.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If Farts Smelled Like Flowers

Picture taken in Barcelona, Spain, 2011
If Farts Smelled Like flowers

If farts smelled liked flowers, what a different world it would be.
Eating beans would be encouraged--3 times a day.
The guy in the elevator would happily fess up.
Dog adoption would increase.
People would no longer blaim the dog for their own flatulence.
Futhermore, people would start taking credit for the dog's farts.
Cute farting would no longer be limited to the 5 year old and under crowd.
It would be pleasant to sit beside your mate on the sofa and watch a movie together.
Teachers (the only humans who have never been documented farting) would fart and fart and fart.

My girls, my niece and I were brain storming this idea the other morning while making pancakes--thought I'd share our take on such an important topic.


Monday, October 10, 2011

A Hart Family Thanksgiving

 A weekend of fun with my family. The Hart's gathered in Kelowna, B.C. this Thanksgiving weekend for fun and work. The work was attempting to put new hardwood on our stairs. Unfortunately we could not finish the job as we need more mill work done and the shop is not open until tomorrow. The fun involved family feasting and parties. My sister Catherine and her family and my nephew Kyran were the only members missing this weekend and they were indeed missed. Much fun.

The company has returned to their homes and now it is back to work for everyone. I was up in the night with a sick Tabitha (she ate too much whip cream). So, I slept in. I will lift weights and dance tonight.
 I am working on my final thesis as a whole revision. My committee has assured me this will be their last reading.
Want to watch this French film I have been excited to see--a thriller. So far I have had no time for any movie watching this week. Perhaps if I can keep my eyes open past 9 p.m....
I have only recently managed to meditate in the evenings again after a break all summer long. It is hard to do it all. Evenings I must choose: meditate, read or foreign film.

 I want to have a party. My idea has been poo-pooed by Peter. Though, my girls think it sounds great! I wanted to have a Trani Party--dress as the opposite sex party. Peter and John assured me most guys will refuse to dress as women. Thus, I will change the theme. I want to dress up as Salvador Dali--I want to wear that long, crazy mustachio. Perhaps dress as you favorite artist party instead.

Looking to rent a studio downtown. Kelowna has no artist studio co-ops. Basically, I will carving a small space myself. Not easy so far.
Pippi and Artemis, Ebony and Ivory
Beautiful Girls: Anemone, Mistaya, Tabitha, Artemisia and Penelope
Tabs, Theresa and Mist
My Happy Parents
Miranda and Artemis
Happy Theresa
Mist and Peter
John Jr. and Miranda in Their Kitchen
Peter, Mist and Nem
Peter,  Mist, Nem, Tabs and Joop
Me and My Dad
Artemis and Pippi Setting the Table for the Thanksgiving Feast
Nem and Tabs
Joop and Theresa
Me and My Mom
Nem and Joop
Mist and Tabs
Artemis and Pip as a Creeper and a Vampire
John, Pip, Joop and Theresa
The Feast
The Feast Table
Anemone: Thankful that she won at Monopoly against  the "so called" world Monopoly Champion (Granddad)
Artemis: Thankful for friends and family
Pip: Thankful for dogs
Tabs: Thankful we all live in Canada
Mist: Thankful for Music
Melissa: Dance
Theresa: Thankful for interaction
Peter: Family
Joop: Thankful he came to Kelowna this weekend instead of Spokane, Washington.
Miranda: The Beautiful Day
John Jr.: Family Togetherness
John Sr.: Thankful for Sephen Harper's commitment to build more jails to house the criminals of unreported crimes (this is a family joke based on Harper's idiotic words last week).  
A Canadian Tanksgiving Feast
No Thanksgiving is Complete Without a Visit From Zombie Children
Pip and Artemis as Vampire and Creeper
The Johns
Granny, Mist and Peter
Vampire and Creeper Eating Their Own Veins
Artemis and Pip's Dramatic Performance
Tabs whipping 2 L of whip cream (we were all wondering why the electric mixer sound never stopped--Tabs had taken it upon herself to whip all 2 L!)
A Successful  Hart Ponder--Attempting to Ponder the Universe as One
An Unsuccessful Group Ponder
Tabs Trying Her Creation: Pumpkin Pie and Whip Cream. ( I am sad to say she threw this all up at 1 a.m. And her dear Mommy (me)  had to clean it all up)
Miranda on John Jr.'s Knee
Dance Concert Time! Dancing to Pitbull's Pause. The Little Girls Were All Amazing Dancers.

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