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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He Ain't Heavy. He's My Brother.

Pablo and Fernando.

This is how my boys sleep during the day--piled on top of one another on the leather sofa back. It's always Pablo on top--Big bro Fernando doesn't seem to mind. Although, Pablo (Old Boston Bull Dog) is already taller than our pug Fernando and will be heavier soon too.

I had to post these pics as the love these boys have for one another makes my heart sing. Fernando was  a lonely only-dog for the first three years of his life and I feel so blessed that he now has regular dog company.

Danced perhaps my most gruelling line up ever last night. Realized at the end of it that I hadn't included any slow, easier type songs--all of them were hard core cardio. I was so pooped, could barely touch my supper once home at 8 pm.
This was followed by an odd night in bed full of tossing and turning. I ached all over and was itchy too. I had a diet coke to get me pumped after my kids Zumba class and before I arrived at the Uni for my next class. It always makes my skin crawl but it is such a great pick-me-up that can't say no to it (when I need a boost).
Tonight I start my first class across the lake at World gym. Excited because it's my first official time teaching at a "gym." Taking it easy today to rest up my aching limbs for tonight. Today I'll write, walk the dogs, make supper and take my gals to piano lessons.

This weekend was a turning point for me as a mom. I realized that my two oldest daughters are now at ages that make coordinating family sports day difficult. Skiing was a bust and then skating too. I had a wee melt down in the vehicle after all my plans fell apart.
What I'll do in the future is plan family sport days for just the Pip (kindergarten daughter) and I. Tabs, Mist and Peter can then join us if they wish. If I try to get the rest of them ready to go and pumped for the activity--I burn myself out in negative criticisms from the big gals and their dad. So, it's Pip and I from here on out that I plan for--the rest are free to come or not.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Filling the Tea Pot with Music

You know you're life is nothing but music and dancing when in the middle of showing your guy a new dance, the tea kettle beeps that it's ready and you say, "Wait a sec. I just have to fill the tea pot with music. I'll be right back."

Being a Zumba instructor pays me in a currency untouchable by financial means. All the money in the world could not give me the strength, fitness and leanness that teaching Zumba gives me. It is an unbelievable gift to feel so effortlessly connected with one's physical self.

And yet, I digress. I admit to sometimes being plagued by negative thoughts regarding my physical self. I see imperfections. Western society is poison. It attempts to pervert humans minds into self hate so we spend money trying to like ourselves better. It is very important for me to project a self image full of love and respect for my body. I look after it, it looks after me. I have three daughters that need a good role model of a woman with a strong mind and body.

Sometimes my body, like my tea pot, is full of music. Love for my life and my body. And sometimes my mind is weak and my tea pit is full of poison. Love for the physical self is sometimes difficult. On a conscious level, I know I am blessed with unbelievable strength and health. But when I fall into the weak mind state,  it takes so much wisdom, knowledge and strength to keep filling my teapot with music. One can work and work and work on building the greatest body but if it is filled with anything other than music, it is empty, much like an empty tea pot.

The daily work in life is to keep filling one's teapot with music. No matter what obstacles come one's way, allow no poison into the teapot. Protect it, keep it sacred, a sacred place where only the most beautiful music can be stored.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Madness on the Mountain

I live on  the top of a mountain overlooking the city on one side and a massive lake on the other. The forests surrounding my home are filled with coyotes, deer, bob cats, raccoons, owls and the odd bear or cougar. Last night I kept hearing two loud consecutive gun shots. I feared a poacher was at it again. A few years ago I made friends with a giant buck with massive 14 point antlers. Every morning on my run I would meet him on the trail. We grew used to each other and he'd let me run by him. And then one day I didn't see him, or the next. I read in the paper a poacher had killed a 14 point buck on my mountain.

Last night, I heard loud gun shots coming from the forest. The shots went on, about 20 minutes apart for about an hour. One particular shot sounded like it came from the forest directly behind my house. At the same time as the loud bang, my dark bathroom lit up from an outside light. My girls, Mist and Tabs came into my room. They were frightened. That was it. I called the police. I knew the idiots responsible for the noise were directly behind my house because I opened a window and heard voices in the dark, snow covered forest. I turned off all lights at the rear of the house so no one could see us moving about from outside.The little girl next door told me (this morning) that on one shot, the blind in her bed room rolled all the way up at the same time as the bang. She was terrified.

 No idea if the cops caught anyone but there were many police cars zooming around the neighborhood last night. Though, the only way to access the forest is by foot, snowmobile or helicopter. Cops in cars, zooming about the streets would have done zilch. Tabs was so frightened, she was shaking when she asked if she could sleep with Peter and I. I let her. I am a little tuckered from being up most of the night. I dreamed the cops actually were on snowmobiles in my back yard. They were wearing helmets but had short sleeves and in my dream I felt sorry for them as I knew they'd be freezing out there.

Friday has arrived. I'm off the the little girl's school to bring Pablo and Fernando for show and tell. It's the letter P day: Pablo, Pug and Pippi (my daughter). I teach 2 classes of Zumba. learning perhaps my very favorite song ever. I can't help it, I love the slow sexy songs because they are the most difficult. To move one's body and contort the hips and core in so many ways makes for one super strong core. Someone a the Uni complained my Zumba music is too loud and she can hear it in her office. And the music is aggressive and she doesn't like it. Well, if she'd get off her butt and dance with us she'd be a lot less irritable! But I will make an effort to make sure the ball room door is closed. However, she is only disturbed for the last 15 minutes of her day. My class starts at 4:45 and her office closes at 5!

I'm heading back to the mall to purchase a mono-kini bathing suit (almost looks like a one-piece in the front but is a bikini in the back). I tried it on last night and Mist hated it but I loved it. Decided that I'm buying it anyway--even though my Mist did not like it at all. I felt so lovely in it, I must sneak back and purchase.

Here's to a fabulous weekend my friends! xx

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Encore Mist, Encore!

Tuesday night we attended a fabulous Jazz concert down town at the community theatre. Mist, my eldest daughter, played Monty (her bass clarinet). The concert was fabulous. Robert Fine, a local Jazz singer, accompanied the band on a few numbers.  The high school students are very talented musicians. Mist's band teacher told her she has %100 in band. Very proud of my beautiful baby girl. Tonight we have a date at the mall--more shopping for a bathing suit and black shoes for Mist. I love dates with my girls. We have so much fun together.

Decided to take the job with a local gym. I can become FA certified while working for the gym at a very reasonable cost. I just love teaching Zumba. It is so much fun for me. I love the adrenalin rush I get from having to remember, perform and teach 15 songs in an hour--there's nothing like it. I learned a new Merengue song yesterday "Bounce." Will learn a new Reggeaton song today--I need to add a new song each week or I get a little bored. The thing I love about teaching Zumba is that there is no upper limit. I can't possibly max out. There are always new songs to learn, dance styles to perfect, new dance styles to learn.

Off to work on my writing for a few hours. I like to write for 3 h a day. I'll switch to painting 3 h a day for awhile, once I get my first e-Novel published.

 Little Pablo is getting so tall. When he stands up on his back feet,  he grabs things off the counter. He already broke a mug today and pulled my Canon Rebel to the floor. Naughty pup. Naughty pup needs more puppy food. Off to pick that up from the Vet's too.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Humor Me and My Cool T-Shirts

My latest Cut-Up T-Shirt creation. I made it last night. It is my favorite. The secret is to purchase a tight and long t-shirt made of spandex and other artificial fibers. They fit so nicely without getting too saggy like cotton. Just for the record, I have no make-up on in the above pics as they were taken early this morning before working out.

Having to make some decisions today. I am forging ahead in many career directions at the moment--getting BC teaching certified for the k-12 system, starting my own e-Publishing house, pushing forward with my Zumba teaching. I pay a lot of money in certification fees for teaching in BC and Zumba. And now it seems, if I want to teach for gyms, I must get my FA certification to teach in Canada. It is all bureaucracy and ways to keep associations a float. But in truth, remaining Zumba certified is very expensive and to put more yearly fees on top of that I need to be seriously teaching a lot of fitness classes. So, do I want to get certified to teach in gyms? If I make that choice I have to be prepared to really teach a lot of fitness to make up for all of the fees. I need to make choices on what areas of my career to focus on at this time. Everything requires money to stay in the field.

Fitness is wonderful. I adore dancing and working out in every way. I can head to a class feeling so blah and tired and really not wanting to teach at all. And after the class I leave a different woman. I am happy, energetic and pumped about life. It is a magic pill for me. But don't get me wrong. It is a very competitive business and ageism is rampant. I am teaching along side women 20 years younger than me.
At my age (40s) one has to be fitter, a better dancer and teacher, than the competition. It helps that I am a fashionista too ;)

Dropped off 100 buttons for Pip at her school (we forgot it was 100 day until Tabs called me from school this morning), dropped Mist and a friend off down town at the Community Theatre in prep for their huge band concert tonight--all before 9 AM this morning. Now time to start my day.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012


 Queen of the world: Me on the Costa Brava, Spain

I love chess. The queen is the most powerful piece. It is relaxing and challenging at the same time. I love to play with my girls. I've been looking for a good travel set to take with us when we go out for coffee. I like a decent sized board. I found one: The Chess Baron Online with free Canadian delivery. I had no idea I was a chess set junkie until recently. I love wooden sets--beautifully carved wooden sets. I'm not a fan of glass, bone or stone. There is something about the wooden figures that is very appealing. Chess Baron has exquisite sets. I ordered the most beautiful travel set with a good-sized board-12 inches square and the king is 2 1/2 inches tall--not bad for a travel set! I can hardly wait for it to arrive.
I love the simple things in life--exploring nature, dancing, playing chess with a good cup of tea and great company. I decided last night that 3 of life's necessities are: tea, chocolate and love--works for me.
Tonight I am having a dinner party. I am using the event to make my favorite Mexican enchiladas, butter baked rice, mango salad and French chocolate eclairs for dessert. My wonderful guests are in for a feast!
My sister told me recently that she read the secret to happiness is: sharing a meal with friends often (check), lots of sex (check), and regular exercise (check). I think my tea, chocolate and love fit right in :)

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Take Me To The Secret World

HARD day.
no. No. NO. NO. NO!
That sums up my day.
Tired from reading and hearing that word all day long.
After a day of that word I received a last minute request from the University. Could I sub a Zumba class tonight? Why yes! Yes, indeed I could.
Arrived to discover it wasn't a Zumba class after all. It was belly fit. I explained to the students that  "sorry, but we're doing Zumba tonight and I promise I will work your bellies."
And then the sound system broke. No music. Called IT services. After 1/2 h we finally had music. What did I do with my patient students for the first half hour of no music? I took them through dance steps--the tricky ones.

 Succumbed to stopping by Taco Delmar on the way home for a burrito to go. The place was closed! What kind of a restaurant closes by 7 pm on a Thursday? What to do? We had no groceries at home. Out of all our basics even. Stopped by grocery store (yes, I've succumbed and am back to shopping at that blasted Super Store :P). Got home past 8 and remembered I was supposed to be home before 7:30 to take Mist to Ballet. Mist missed ballet :(

All my 3 darlings have the day off school tomorrow. I teach at noon and again at 5:30. I'll have Peter bring the girls down after my dance class so we can rush to the theatre to see the premier of Studio Ghibli's latest film The Secret World of Arrietty (see above trailer). I am a Hayao Miyazaki junkie and so are my daughters.
 Have a great weekend dear readers!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vampire Mothering

Above pictures of me taken this past fall, 2011 by my daughters (they capture my true wanna-be personality).
Vampires and Witches.
We are no different than other moms. We just work after dusk.
This is who I have become unwittingly.

I want regular Zumba hours. My hours now change every few months: at UBC, campus will be out in March and my contract will end and at the Rec centre, the schedule changes every few months. I don't like teaching every night because this is when my 3 children are home from school. But until I get hired as a regular Zumba instructor at a gym, I have to take the shifts I get. I have an audition tomorrow evening at a new gym. The audition is right after my class at UBC. If I get this gym job, it will add at least 2 more evening classes to my schedule. Thus far I am teaching 3 evenings a week as it is.

This first year of teaching Zumba has been difficult in that I don't know when and if I'll get a contract from month to month. So, I commit to too many classes often, knowing the "too many" may only last a few months. It's hard to parent like this. But at the same time, I love to dance, love latin music, love teaching so I am hooked. Not to mention my job keeps me amazingly fit.

My goal is to get on with an established gym, commit to them and that is it--2 evenings a week and other day light hour classes. Though, I may always teach just one ZumbAtomics class at the rec centre while my girls and nieces are little--because they love it.

 I have no time to study dance anymore. I like to take at least one class a week to learn new steps and keep fresh--but I have no time with my evening so full.

And no, the dance isn't even my regular job. I use the day light hours to work on my writing/publishing, painting and other professional pursuits (I am trying to build am empire here :) ).

On a most delightful note, Pip and I took the dogs down to the lake for a walk this early evening. It was so great to walk along the beach. The evening sun, sparkling water and golden sand made me forget that it's still winter in Canada. Pablo was so naughty though, he barked ferociously at every dog we met. Fernando is much friendlier. Fernando is mean to human strangers and nice to all dog strangers. Pablo is the opposite: nice to all human strangers and mean to all dog strangers.

I must brag just a wee little bit (vampire moms are like that): my smarty pants daughter Mistaya is only fifteen and in grade ten but she is taking grade eleven honors math at school because she's a math whizz (like her sisters). And yesterday she brought home an exam: 100% :) Tabs wanted me to brag that she brought home a social exam last week: 100%. And Pip? She's quite a good little reader already and only in kindergarten. There, all my daughters were bragged about (witch moms like to be fair). In truth though, as a little girl I so wanted to be a real witch. I believed witches had so much freedom, adventure, autonomy and power--and that's what I wanted too. Still do :)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

ZumbAtomic Birthday Bash!

For Pippi's 6th Birthday party we invited her entire kindergarten class. I rented a hall and we held our first ZumbAtomic Party! We danced, played dance games and had pizza and cake. It was a raging success and Pippi had the best time. I felt it went well and am so relieved that it was the last of my girls' Birthdays until next November! So thankful for all of our helpers.

Just have to mention that the reason I adore teaching kids is that all it takes is one little darling to absolutely love the class and I feel I've done some good in the world. One little girl came up to me at water break time and said, "You know, I don't even know how to dance and I thought it would be really hard. But do you know what? I'm REALLY good at it! I'm a really good dancer." I had to agree with the little darling :)
Senorita Penelope Ready For Her Party
Me, leading ZumbAtomic Dancing at the Party
Dancing in the Hall
The Kindergarten Class Danced and Danced!
The Lion Sleeps Tonight--Tabs and Nem were my #1 Helpers :)
Senorita Penelope was the Buyer for the  Dancing Statue Game
Ice Cream Cake
Time for Cake
Hungry Little Dancers

Thank-G for the Great Help: Peter, Mist and Kyran
Present Time--Pippi received so many lovely gifts. We felt it would be kind if Pippi donated some of them to charity but she would not agree to that this year. Next year, we've decided to forgo the gifts and instead Pippi gets to pick a wild animal to sponsor (adopt) each year.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hush My Darling, Don't Fear My Darling...

My latest choreography for ZumbAtomics. My lovely dancers Tabs and Nem helped me out. I thank them as they were tired as we filmed this just after an hour long class. The song is The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens. Forgive the camera work--I had it on a tri-pod and we danced our way out of view a few times ;)

It's Friday night and I'm finished teaching for the week. Bring on the weekend.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Plum Tuckered Out

I arrived home from teaching dance at 6:30 pm (yes my lungs held out for the entire class, YAY!) and this is what I found: Pippi sound asleep in the locked dogs' kennel. Tabs was babysitting. I asked Tabs, "How long has she been in there?"
     "A long time," said Tabs.
     "How long?"
     "About an hour or so."
     "Were the dogs in there with her?"
     "Yes she locked herself and the dogs in there and then they all fell asleep. The dogs woke up so I let them out."
     And there Pippi remained for about another half hour before she awoke. I did cover her with the fluffy doggie blanket.

    Down town at a coffee shop blogging as I have 20 minutes until I need to be at the girls' school to volunteer for hot lunch. I just picked up the keys to the hall that I am renting on Sunday and I have a little time to myself. I really have no time to help with hot lunch because I must leave to teach noon Zumba at the University by 11:25. It will be rush, rush.

  Tonight I teach Mom & Me Zumba and then after the class ends, I am taping my latest choreography to a ZumbAtomics song with my best little dancers.

    Weekend is going to be fun. My sister and her family are coming for a visit and of course, Pippi's big ZumbAtomics Birthday party that I am hosting on Sunday. Everyone in her class can come. I just checked out the hall and it will be perfect--I can pull drapes so my disco balls will really light the place up.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Baby's Ear Braces

OK, I am a self-admitting blogging addict. And as such, I had sworn of blogging for a few days. But I could not resist just one quick post of my darling pup Pablo in his ear braces. He has long ears that stand straight up and then the tips flop backwards. To help the little guy's ears stand up while he grows I researched how to make ear braces. Here's my effort. So far so good. Must research how long he must wear these for. Forgive me for the post but he looks so ridiculous and fruity-tuity I could not resist :)

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Hart Fart Brothers

I know I'm a little crazy. Mostly I have a huge sense of crazy fun and I am honest about it. I cannot express the glee I feel on finally getting to call someone "The Hart Farts." My last name is Hart. Yes, my sisters and I were lovingly called The Hart Fart Sisters by my parents on occasion. And sometimes I was called Hart Fart not so lovingly by some childhood bully. But still, I love my last name. It comes from Ireland (my Catholic and Druid ancestors) and before that it's roots seem to be Scandinavian (recent research by me). It is my father's last name and thus mine. It means stag, as in male deer. It is a very powerful symbol in Druidism.

When it was time to give my own daughters a last name, it was no easy choice. I wanted them Harts, Peter wanted them to have his last name as is tradition in our culture. I don't like hyphenated names because I think they are short-sighted. The name ends after one generation as who wants a triple or quadruple hyphenated name attached to their kid? So, since I have my Dad's last name and love it, I decided to compromise and let my girls have their Dad's last name. Each of my daughters has Hart as their third name.

Now, about those Hart Fart boys. Peter didn't want anymore dogs. When he agreed to go along with me adopting the two darlings, it was with the understanding that they are my dogs. So, my dog boys have my last name. Hence, the Hart Fart Brothers. And yes, it feels really great when I say it :)
The youngest Hart Fart Bro's (my darling Pablo) ears grew so fast that they stand straight up and then the tips flip backwards. I will have to brace them up for awhile until he stops growing as he has the most unusual ears that fold over backwards!

Life updates for inquiring minds:

Only had to cancel one Zumba class because of my inflamed lungs. I have a respiratory virus that I caught from my darling Tabitha. Because I have asthma, my lungs stay infamed for weeks after any respiratory virus. I teach in a few hours at UBC. If my lungs start to really burn I will announce 'we are taking it down a notch' and will dance to a whole bunch of my cool-down songs for the rest of the class :)  --slow songs like the one I choreographed to Rhianna's You Da one. 
I detest ever cancelling my Zumba classes. I don't have a sub and thus i worry I may loose students for every class cancelled. So, you can be sure if I cancel a Zumba class it is because my lungs are on fire and I cannot breath at all.

Thesis defense postponed months and months now. It has zero to do with me or my work and everything to do with red tape. My external examiner keeps being replaced and then the scheduling doesn't work and thus we are waiting and waiting for UBC to allow me an external who is available to attend my defense sometime in this lifetime. All this red tape is costing me $ in tuition and psychological torture. This degree was supposed to be done in 2011.
Yes, I've learned a lot about post secondary academia (the clueless, the fragile egos), grad school, conference presentations, the evolution of story Online. This stuff is very valuable to me and I have especially enjoyed presenting at the two conferences I attended-LOVED it. But sometimes, you do things that involve so much mental anguish that you think: was it really worth those years of my life? Let this M.A. not become one of those things...

And on a super positive note: had time to edit my novel again--nearly finished this final edit and I dare say--I am so in love with this book! Will send it away to professional editor prior to e-Publishing it. And then my publishing house will publish it. I am aiming for this spring. You really are in for a treat. Queen of the Godforsaken is one fun ride to read :D I'm not just saying this because I am the author. It is hilarious. Dark yes, but funny too. Will keep updates leading up to its release: Spring 2012.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Morning Frost on the Mountain

How could I resist? The morning hoar frost on the mountain beckoned me early this morning as the sun began to rise. Once my three darlings had left for school, and before I headed out to start my day, I grabbed my camera and snuck into the forest to capture the rare beauty. 
I have the blood of a nomad. I never live a place for very long. It is how I was raised. And before my parents, my ancestors were nomads. They had the spirit of adventure to leave Europe and head for the New World. Living on this mountain is a record. I have lived here for eleven years. 
Sometimes I think, how can I ever leave this mountain? A house I can leave. A house is a house--a shelter. And a large part of the enjoyment of a shelter is in it's creation. But the mountain. The land. Land gets inside the blood. But then I thought about it and decided that I could come back in late spring and sit on the mountain, under the giant ponderosa trees, amongst the bunch grass and balsam root flowers. And sitting there, inhaling the scents of my mountain--I would be home again.

*Hoar frost refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air.(Wikipedia)

Enjoy my photographs below:


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Eclairs au Spelt

I made the most scrumptious chocolate eclairs as an early Valentine treat for my family. I used light spelt flour and now I am hooked on making French pastries! I love working with choux pastry since I have mastered using spelt flour. The recipe is below followed by a picture of my dear daughter enjoying her mom's creation.
  Spelt Choux Pastry
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup light spelt flour
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 o F
Bring butter and water to boil--stirring.
Add flour all at once.
Stir vigorously until batter sticks together in a ball.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until batter is velvety.

Butter baking sheet and cover with parchment paper.
Using a 1/2 inch pastry nozzle, pipe into 5 inch long strips (5 eclairs total).
Bake for 15 min.
Turn oven down to 375 o F and bake for 5-8 more minutes until pastry is slightly golden.
Cool. Slice length wise.
Fill with fresh whipped cream.
Top with chocolate sauce.

Sauce au Chocolat Français
3/4 cup bitter sweet  French chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water

Heat on low in sauce pan stirring constantly. Spoon onto cooled eclairs. Enjoy with abandon!

Pippi and the éclair

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Daughters Three

I found these pictures the other day while looking for baby pictures of Pippi for the previous blog. I love this casual series of my girls and I.

I'm looking for a new winter home base. Seriously. My days of wintering in Canada are soon over. My lungs are too sensitive in the winter. I taught two Zumba classes yesterday with bronchitis. My lungs are so inflamed! But I don't have a sub so I took my asthma inhalers before each class and went for it. Despite the lungs, both classes went fab. I choreographed a new song for my kids classes The Lion Sleeps Tonight. So much fun to dance to. And my new choreography for I'm Sexy and I know It is so much fun to dance to as well. Will post a little demo someday soon.
I find my lungs do best is the tropical jungle. I loved the hot, damp air of the Malaysian jungle. I want to live in a hot climate for at least Jan and Feb of each year. But aside from the jungles of Asia, I am also considering Spain or Southern France--love them both.

Tabs arrived home from camping. Her cough is worse but her spirits high. She loved the winter camp out.
Mist is the most amazing teen age girl on the planet. She is so much fun to hang out with. She is nearly always happy and full of fun. When I stopped in to chat with Peter in his office yesterday (after my UBC Zumba class), I noticed a paper sculpture on his window sill with a name  plate in front "Vince." I just knew Mist had left that there for him on her last visit to his office.
Pip is still on a birthday high: out for lunch with her parents and then her B day supper of choice was A&W. What can I say, she loves their baby burgers. It was the only fast food allowed: her Bday choice. I have been cooking each and every night! Vegetarian stir fry and brown basmati rice last evening after I returned from Mom & Me Zumba with Pip and my nieces.

A lazy weekend for me. Will no doubt include a trip to the doctors office for drugs to kill the bronchitis. I can tell when I have a bacterial infection. I want to get in a few ski days before spring hits. Not this weekend though. And next weekend I am hosting a huge ZumbAtomic birthday party for Pip. I've rented a hall down town. We are inviting about thirty guests for the dance party.

Now that I completed the ten day meditation course, I am allowed to attend three day courses--so much more manageable for me. I may sign up for a three day meditation course this spring to refresh my  meditation practices. But the course starts in May, so who knows what will be happening in my life by then! I guess spring is in the air because I am looking ahead, planning my spring already! Will hopefully include a trip to escape the last dredges of winter. 

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