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Monday, October 29, 2012

Club Zen

Inviting the Bell

I piloted a Dharma class for children this weekend: CLUB ZEN. It was called Dharma Kids, but we've decided to rename it as many people don't know what Dharma means. The class is now called:

 Club Zen: games, songs and meditation--for children and teens 
ages 6-16  

 Zen has become a mainstream concept for children partly because of the global popularity of the books Zen Shorts and Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth.

Drawing Our Calm Places of Refuge
Pebble Meditation

Cooperative Rolling Marble Game
*photos by Miranda Hart

The class was a triumph thanks to all my  participants and helpers. My nephew accompanied our songs on guitar.

The atmosphere was joyful and peaceful. I had so much fun teaching the class and all of my activities were well received. I couldn't believe how focused our little 6 years olds were during meditation! I over-planned and only managed to complete about 1/3 of my activities, which, is great as I can use the remainder for future classes. My next task is advertising for next month's meeting in many more locations and getting the local news involved. 

When I Breathe In, I breathe In Peace
When I Breathe Out, I Breathe Out Love

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Dose of Modern Motherhood

Pip shares my fashionista personality.
I've been a single parent most of this week. My husband travels a lot with his work. I used to like to accompany him to most conferences but now, I simply cannot. Life is too busy on the home front.

Yesterday evening, I decided to catch up on a few chores by driving my children around to pick up various supplies they need for their extra-curricular activities. We headed out at 4 pm and did not return until nearly 8 pm--four hours of driving from place to place--we managed to stop at nine different destination locations. I was spent. How does one parent in this age? Three children all needing Halloween costume supplies, piano lesson supplies, new running shoes for gym class, new skates for skating lessons, eye medicine for a sudden case of pink-eye.

I am not an errand loving kind of a girl. I like leisure time. I love having fun with life. So how did this happen to me? I work-out  and walk/run my dogs in the morning, work on my career all day and the evenings/weekends are house/children's errands, lessons.

There is no leisure time for me. Just before bed I meditate and read a little Dharma. I get up early,
before the sun and head out running with my dogs, and then it all starts all over again. However, running through the forest before the sun is up is truly one of the day's highlights. Forests smell so good in the damp, cool morning.

Me and my baby girl. 
I get why people are having smaller families in this century. If I had one kid, perhaps I'd have 3 stops, 2 kids--6 errand stops. I also understand why so many big families home school. If you have 5 kids, I dare say, it would be impossible to keep up with the errand demands if they attended public school. The wardrobe and supply shopping is endless. 

Yes, my daughters love fashion, just like their mom, but having the time to shop for fashionable clothing items is almost unheard of in our weekly errands. I consider that type of shopping, fun, almost like leisure time.

However, I am deeply grateful that I have been blessed with three babes to raise. And I intend to find some way to cut down on the endless errands, so that one day, perhaps, we might actually get to do nothing and go nowhere.

Pip and I on a recent fall day. I think age 6 is the perfect
fashionista age-absolutely anything goes. There are no
limits to the outfits one can create and wear.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Magic Cat Named Pyewacket

In honor of Halloween coming up, I promised to tell the mystical yet, true tale of how a cat named Pyewacket magically appeared in my life.

I still miss Silver
(but not the pee on the beds and leather sofas)
Pyewacket crying high in the pine tree.
I used to have a cat. A gorgeous purebred silver-tipped persian. But Persians don't like little kids and dogs. Silver hid or peed on the kids beds and leather sofa daily. And pooped everywhere but his box (and yes I tried every box in the world and litter types too--spent over $100 on an automatic variety too). After six years of trying to make Silver happy, in a house with 3 kids and a dog, I decided it was time to find him an adult only home. I found him a single woman whose dream it was to own such a beautiful Persian.
 Before Silver, my entire life has been filled with cats. I always had a cat growing up and as an adult too. After Silver left, it was

the first time in my life I'd been without a pet cat.

I've been catless for about three years.They've been long years. I love cats. But then I adopted Pablo, my Boston Bull dog--a breed fond of killing small animals. Pablo sealed the deal--no more cats as long as he's my boy.

And then one day, last month, I took my girls to a pet store to buy dog supplies. My daughter Mist, insisted I walk over to the cat adoption centre to look at the kittens. I said no, it would be too painful as I really long to have a cat again. I continued on, remembering fondly--cat kisses and the precious smell of their little foreheads.
Pyewacket desperate for someone to hear his calls and help him get down.
It was painful, I truly wanted nothing more than a cat in my life, right there and then. So over to the centre I walked, to look at the kittens in the window. Seeing their precious faces made me long for a cat of my own even more. I told my daughters how much it hurt to be there, because I wanted one so badly. We left the store but the feeling of longing for a kitty to love, did not leave me.

We drove home and my girls immediately joined the neighbor girls on a hike on the mountain behind our home. Within a half an hour they were back. They'd discovered a cat, high in a skinny pine tree, howling.  The cat was at least forty feet up in the tree.
A neighbor told the girls it had been howling since before the weekend (that would be a week). No one had been able to coax it down and the fire department wouldn't help.

I headed out with the girls to investigate (upper right pictures). There he was all right, unable to come down because the pine had no lower branches. The wilderness park is teaming with coyotes--he must have been chased up too high to get back down. Each night the coyotes must have visited the tree, making an evening escape impossible too. We called and called to Pyewacket and he called back but could not get down.
Pyewacket, my daughter Mist and me, an hour after his rescue.

I rushed home to make a few calls. A neighbor-friend agreed to meet us there with his ladder. By the time we got back to the forest Pyewacket was gone. Our calls had finally gotten to him. He could not take the tree any longer and in his weakened state, he'd attempted to climb down but fallen. Our friend Dave, suggested we look in the grass, as he'd be too weak to get very far. Dave found him. His body was emaciated but he seemed to be alert and friendly. I took him home to my garage where I nursed him back to health with water in a syringe and wet cat food.The neighbor who lived directly behind the tree where Pyewacket was stranded, stopped by to say she'd been hearing the cat howl for a week but could not find any way to  rescue him. Pyewacket is magic. How can a cat survive for a week high in a tree? 

I (over the course of two hours) had wanted nothing more than a cat in my life, and then suddenly I had a cat in my home. Pyewacket was mine. Pyewacket was the most friendly, gentle boy ever. I fell instantly in love. It was as though I'd conjured him up and he appeared in a tree behind my house. I enjoyed every moment with Pyewacket, knowing I'd have to give him up eventually as my dog would most likely kill him instantly and Pyewacket could not live our garage forever.

Pyewacket has found a good home where I can visit him often. My sister is a vet. She said she'd take him and try to find him a good home with some of her favorite clients. So Pyewacket went to live in the Kootneys. But Pyewacket is magic--Pyewacket wrapped his tail around my sister's finger and she could not part with the dear boy. He is now officially the clinic cat of Cottonwood Falls Animal Clinic.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How My Dog Taught Me to Be a Better Mom

* This post appeared last month in Circle of Moms' Blog. It has not yet appeared on my blog so with Circle of Moms permission, I post it for my readers:

 My daughter is twelve. She is my middle child and she's just starting middle school. The school change has caused some hick-ups. She's always been a child who resists new. She clung to her worn running shoes, her old bed mattress (begged us not to take it to the dump even though the dog peed on it one too many times). She was my only baby who rejected her first solid food. My other two babies were thrilled to taste the mushy rice cereal, as though it were Haagen-Dazs. Not my middle girl, she spit it out; only breast milk would do. 
 What I didn't count on is how her picky eating would eventually catch up to her in her tween years. She gets sick, often--cold viruses, stomach bugs, aches and pains. I've taken her to the doctor, had her blood tested. She is healthy enough, though she has become gluten intolerant--I blame this on her picky eating. Her favorite thing has been white bread products. I believe she over did it and has now become sensitive to wheat. While her body battled the gluten, her intestines became inflamed and she absorbed little nutrients. The outcome is that she has become, suddenly, anemic (very low in iron). I've been worried about my girl for months--she seems tired, weepy, less social, less focused. The girl who organizes everything with detailed lists and labels, suddenly began loosing jackets and hoodies at school. 
What started out as childhood pickiness is now effecting not only her health, but energy level and school attendance.

A picky, gluten intolerant eater soon becomes a too-thin, anemic tween. My daughter's eating habits were not going to change on their own. I had to change them. When doctors and self help books failed, I looked to my dog for the answer. Training my new puppy might give me ideas on how to train my daughter. My pup has behavioral issues, ones that could ultimately affect his life. At five months Pablo (my pup) demonstrated very aggressive behavior towards other dogs. I've spent the last six months training him with unflinching dedication in situations that are often terrifying and emotionally exhausting. I  must lead him. On his own, he is self-destructive. My daughter's eating habits have also become self destructive, I must lead her to a safer path. The training never ceases. It's not like we get it now, move on. No, the training is constant, vigilant. Each day is a new day with successes and set backs. But we're on the right path of strong leadership
She eats what I make her now. I keep everything gluten free and healthy. She must drink a super-antioxidant rich glass of juice each morning as well. She hates this, plugs her nose and gags as though its medicine. She is also on iron supplements. I insist she eat what I put on her plate. I am not cruel, I don't force her to eat things she absolutely has always detested, but I am unflinching, dedicated, tough. When my child is damaging her own health with picky eating, it is unflinching, parental  assertiveness that gives me hope that she will become well nourished and strong. How did I become this assertive parent?  Training my aggressive dog has made me stronger. I can lead, even the most obstinate child, to a safer path.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Publishers, What Are They Good For?

I am attending the Surrey International Writers' Conference in...wait for it...Surrey, BC. I'm learning a lot at this conference: ideas for crafting, editing, promoting, publishing and selling my books. I write children's picture books, middle-year fiction (ages 8-12), and literary fiction. I am here to learn a little bit about each of my chosen genres. I am learning...in between bouts bewilderment. But, despite the angst that follows, I will admit to being more determined/inspired than ever to slog ahead--writing my Hart (heart) out.

I attended this conference once before, 5 long years ago. Much has changed in the publishing industry and media in those five years.

Being a writer can feel overwhelming at times like this. I am considered fairly media savvy--my thesis is in Online story within Cybercommunities. I blog, twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest (why Pinterest, I have no idea at this time).

Mix Hart: Me, myself, and I, off to the Banquet at SIWC 2012
We had a great table, I sat with Elizabeth Lyon and Andy Ross and Gigi Rosenberg.
Yet, it is not enough. To be a writer these days, you have to be an expert at technology/social media/self promotion as well as an expert in technological design and statistical analysis.
Not to mention, one must not only be an expert self editor, but authors are expected to pay big money and have each of their books professionally edited before they send them away to agents/publishers.

No longer is the craft of just being a writer enough. Becoming an expert writer through practice and workshops, to perfect your craft is a tiny amount of what a writer must be in the 21 Century.

Writing, alone, takes all the hours of each day, yet, a writer must find the cash to pay a professional editor, long before they carve at least an extra six extra hours out of the day to edit, promote and sell their book. If the publishing business is in peril, it is because they are doing little to nothing to help out writers, using Amazon as their slush pile--a pile filled with self-published books by new writers who have put every last cent, and every minute of their lives, into getting their book into that pile.

I will put all I have learned in to practice--slowly and surely. Or truthfully, my style is quickly and impatiently. I'm okay with all the work--it's the spending my own money to make money that freaks me out. Maybe it's time to become an expert grant writer too...

*And on that note, I will announce that this blog, Modernista Mama is ready for some changes. I have to grow with the media. I've been blogging for five years+. What started out as a family journal has grown into a Mom's blog. Now it is time to get a little more organized. So, expect to see a few changes in the next few weeks, as I attempt to modernize the Modernista Mama.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Hit The Bully Where It Hurts

My life as a teen: The photographs above and below are of my sister, 
Catherine and I during our teen years circa 1980's 
and also of a friend(Randy) and my dog McDuff 
(the most amazing brother a girl could ever hope for-I miss him, a lot)
Me (I made the flapper-inspired dress I'm wearing), Catherine and McDuff)

Bullies, and bullying--the media screams these words since the horrific suicide of young Amanda Todd, a fellow British Columbian. Because of the cyber-world, bullying can now exist within another dimension that seems impermeable.  We may never stop the bullies but we can educate our children on how to handle a bully.  #1. Tell.  Let the world know about this bully. You don't have to tell your parents, but tell your friends and tell people in authority positions. The bigger your army, the better your chance of bringing the bully to his/her knees. One thing I know for sure, ignoring a problem never makes it go away.

However, when all else fails, sometimes you have to take the bully down with his/her own poison:

McDuff, Me and Randy (the photographer didn't tell me the wind took my skirt!).
McDuff, Me and Catherine (yes, believe it or not, everyone loved our hair and we 
used to get stopped and asked who our hairdresser was :P).
I want to share an experience I had as a teen with bullying and how I conquered my bullies. I am not recommending that teens try this themselves, per say, I am only describing what happened to me and what I did about it. I was a teen in the 1980's. Sexual harassment was still pretty much unheard of. I was the fashionista teen. I made my own designer outfits--always avant-garde. For a few of my teen years, I attend a rural high school on the prairies. The students were not accustomed to high fashion. I stood out, in a big way, in my flared mini-skirts and high-fashion ensembles. My outfits were admired by most of the females in my school but some of the males...well, they couldn't handle a young woman confident enough to wear daring, outside-the-box fashions. A few of the boys (older than I was by a coupe of years) found my fashionista persona threatening to their country-boy masculinity. I was stopped in the hall by skirts lifted with rulers, sneers "sexy legs" "Do you shaves those sexy legs of yours?"

Me and Catherine, goofing around. (Yes, I know it should be Catherine and I, 
but I like to put the name under the person in the pic!)
If this happened today, I'd tell all girls to press sexual harassment charges and document the abuse. In those days, I was alone. I didn't have a big posse of friends who were interested in protecting me and my parents advice was: "Just ignore them, all they want is attention." My friends ignored the bullies and I tired to. But ignoring a problem is not my style, never was.

I fought back--alone--told no one of my plan. I decided to do to the bullies exactly what they did to me. I stopped them in the halls, first-before they had a chance to stop me, made fun of their "cool plaid shirts" and "manure stomping boots." Walking down the hall with my friends, I would stop in my tracks if one of the bullies walked past. I'd look him up and down, as though visually undressing him (as he always did to me). My friends had no idea what I was doing. They'd watch in confusion as I stopped, stared the guy down and asked him if he shaved those sexy legs of his.
Randy and I--the photo shoot was actually an assignment 
of his and he asked if we'd model for him.
The bullies didn't know what to make of me. At first they tried to be cool, keep up the abuse but when I beat them to all their lines, they got flustered. The bullying ended. The bullies still had contempt for me, but they became pouty little boys, disappointed I'd ruined their fun and limited their bullying to cowardly phrases under their breath.

I can't recommend this as a cure-all for bullying. But it worked for me. Though, for it to work, one must be determined to do it--no fear--throw the bully's poison right back at him/her. That was my style as a teen and it worked for me.

I've blogged about how I dealt with my daughter's bully in, Mall Bully Meets Modernista Mama. The blog caused a lot of controversy: How dare I bully the bully? How dare I crack a few jokes in the blog?
Well, to clear up that controversy, I will say, that it is a blog post, not intended as an essay or news' article and thus the post is casual and written with a little humor (at myself) in the fist paragraph. And I stand by everything I did to that bully. In a world of men and boys thinking they can dominate and abuse women--I will do what ever it takes to set the boy straight. The sooner he learns it's not okay to abuse women and girls-the better his chances of leading a good and happy life--this is the teacher in me. I actually do care what happens to the bully boy. Obviously, he needs a strong adult in his life to tell him what is and isn't okay. Tough love. But most importantly, I work for my girls. No one messes with my girls..

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Most Beautiful Resilience

It is the most inspirtational thing to witness a child work through personal problems, using their own imagination to create an entire team of support.

Pippi went to skating lessons on Monday evening. Towards the end of the 45 minute class, her teacher brought her crying from the ice. Pippi said her tummy hurt and that she'd fallen and hurt her head and tummy (she was wearing a helmet). She seemed very upset and weepy. When we got home she confided in me that she did not like skating lessons. She felt all the other kids were better skaters than she and skated much faster than she could. When she tried to catch up, she always fell down.
Pippi Full of Fun
I went about making supper and reassured her that she was just as good a skater as the other kids. She disagreed and said her tummy hurt again.

Then she got busy with paper, scissors and pencil crayons. A few minutes later Pippi said to me, "Gilbert is going to help me with my skating." I asked her who Gilbert was. It seems, Gilbert is a dear friend of Pippi's. He is a monster who lives in Kelowna. She has 3 other monster friends: Dill, a troll who lives in Africa and speaks French and English, Jackie a vampire who lives in Japan (she speaks no English) and Sam, a grass monster who lives in Africa. Each monster helps her with different areas of her life. Gilbert is a skating expert, Dill is a gymnast, Jackie helps Pip with soccer and Sam helps Pip with Gymnastics as well.

Pippi at Play
She showed me Gilbert and his walkie-talkie and her receiver. She will wear the receiver and ask Gilbert for advice while she skates. Gilbert will oblige with top-notch advice through the walkie-talkie system--skating dilemma solved!

 I also suggested I take her to practice during public skating times and she liked that idea as well.

Pippi told me her friends are flying on airplanes to the city where we live. She said, "Do you know why they're coming?" I said no. She said, "To visit me and my Granny."
(Pippi is very excited that my mom is coming later this week to look after her while Peter and I are at conferences). She said, "Gilbert has special vision, he can see the planes coming from Africa and Japan before anyone else. He said he'd phone me and tell me when he sees them coming (Gilbert is the only monster who lives in BC with Pippi). However, I have been coached that Pippi's entire crew of monsters wear watches that make them invisible, so I won't be able to see them when they arrive for the visit.
Walkie Talkie/    Gilbert/     Receiver Pippi wears on her Skating Pants
Good Luck Skating Charm From Jackie/ Sam's phone/ Dill's Phone
Jackie's Japanese Phone

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Meditation and Motherhood

Pip and Mom, a Mountain Top Meditation.
Reatreat with Ajhan Sona of Birken forest Monastery, BC.

Ajahn Sona, Abbot--Birken Forest Monastery
I spent Friday evening and Saturday morning at a Buddhist meditation retreat in Kelowna. The Abbot of Birken Forest Monastery, Ajan Sona, was the monastic leading the retreat.

 I found Ajahn Sona's wisdom on dealing with human emotions to be the most interesting. His simple, straight forward advice for living with the basic ups and downs of daily emotions and interactions was helpful. I would have liked to listen to him speak much longer about this.

The thing about monastics is that although they are often deep on the path towards enlightenment, they are human. So, when they respond the audience's questions with (seemingly) weak answers to Buddhist questions or tell stories that reveal the monk to be insecure about their own social status, it takes me a little by surprise. However, I like to take from each monastic, the best of what they have to offer. Monastics are human with human failings just like the rest of us lay peoples. But each and every monastic has substantial wisdom in  at least one area--and this is the area I really pay attention to. Although, I admit, when I recognize personal insecurity in a monk, it makes me take stalk of my own insecurities. If I were ever to become ordained, I too would carry some personal baggage with me.
I use this same philosophy when I study The Buddha's teachings: He was human, if some of his teachings seem limited, I acknowledge his humanness and the culture/society in which he was living in.

Saturday morning's retreat was sitting and walking meditation with a break for lunch. I had planned on staying for the entire day of meditating but at lunch the compulsion to be with my kids was too strong. I needed to go home. My life is very busy, like almost all Western lives. All week long it is work and activities. I hardly have any time to just be home with my family. Many of us are rushing around to catch a dance lesson/soccer practice/music lesson/meetings etc. When the weekend arrives, guess what? More soccer/meetings/appointments. I am away next weekend and then another weekend shortly after and every day/evening some scheduled appointment.

I am not proud of this rushing around through life. I am trying to change it--trying to find a simple balance but it is almost impossible with 3 children each wanting to do several extra-curricular activities for fun (and I want them to have these opportunities to enjoy sports and music). Also, my life is in the process of big growth and change; my career was on pause for a decade to devote to raising my babes and now--time to catch up! No rest for the wicked and weary.
Thus, I felt (due to the fact I miss spending serious leisure time with my babes) that a morning meditation was enough on this day. I love Buddhism practice but I love being a mom more. My children trump everything and anything. I believe this strengthens my Buddhist practice--to know and practice true loving kindness and compassion for myself and my children.

So I get home and find Tabs rushing out the door for a soccer game (with her dad) and my other two girls busy playing (hanging Mist would say) with the neighbor girls.
But at least I was home while they played and there to make sure my soccer star took her vitamins supplements before her game.

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Friday, October 12, 2012


Pippi and I and One of My Favorite Nieces, Artemis--Who Just Happened to Arrive at Starbucks with Her Mom at the Very Same time As Us (totally unplanned).
Pippi vs. the Banana Cake (Pippi won). My Mom Made the Smocked Dress She's Wearing (William Morris Print Fabric).
Physics Homework While Texting
October 11, 2012 was the Earth's first ever International Day of the Girl. I celebrated with 2 of my daughters and my niece at Star Bucks while my other daughter was at her volleyball game. I came across a few quotations, by famous women on CNN. The women were asked what they'd tell their 15 year old self? The below quotes are my personal favorites from CNN Online--except for the last 3, they are quotations by me (Mix Hart) and  my 15 year old daughter, Mistaya and my 12 year old daughter Tabitha (because she really wanted to get her 2 cents in). I asked them what they'd tell their 40 year old self if they could speak to her now. The quotes are powerful and really make me think, even cry at memories of some of my biggest setbacks and hopes for the future.

To all my fellow sisters on Earth today: we hold nature's strongest bond in our DNA, the XX.  We first must nurture ourselves and then lead the world.

What Would You Say to Your 15 Year-old Self?
"Many things--especially your biggest heartbreaks--will only make sense as you look back, not as you are experiencing them. Many of what seem at the time to be your biggest setbacks will end up leading to your biggest opportunities, and in ways you can't predict." Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief. Huffington Post.

"You have no ides how the future will unfold. But it will unfold, slowly and quickly and slowly again. In ways that you cannot now begin to imagine...Relax and let the future arrive on its won time and in its own way. Allow yourself to be astonished." Robin Bernstein,  Harvard Historian.

"Keep going, follow your passions and become engaged with the world and stay true to your self."
 Melanie Verveer, US Ambassador at large for Global Women's Issues.

"Don't be discouraged if there aren't enough role models paving the way for you. Imagine the future as you want it to be and you will succeed."
Cherie Blair, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

"Never think that someone else knows what's best for you. Trust your way and don't ask for much advice. Learn how to be quiet and still enough to hear your own voice. Its up to you: your voice will either be silenced or will get to roar." Maria Shriver, Activist, Journalist.

"Each day of your life, continue to educate and challenge yourself to grow intellectually, creatively, spiritually, socially and physically stronger. . . One's success cannot be measure by units in time, it is the culmination of how one has lived an entire life. . . Hope is the key to success and doubt the key to failure. " Mix Hart, Author, Artist, Activist and Adventurer (sorry, I couldn't resist, the 'A' words just kept flowing).

What Would You, being 15, Say to Your 40 year-old Self?
"Always be able to connect and relate to youth...Keep a circle of friends and have it include at least one really good friend...Keep current with fashion and hold onto your passion for music." Mistaya age 15, Student, Dancer and Musician.

"Don't try to be cool," Tabitha age 12, Student, Singer, Musician and Soccer player.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Extreme Makeover-Family Edition

Don't judge me until you see the before picture. A few years ago I decided we (as a family) needed a little help in the looks department. I know I'll get a lot of flack for the kids' surgeries. But honestly, all it took was a few surgeries, a few near-death complications, a few years recovery and we finally emerged as we appear today (with only minor lasting side effects).


*If you think we look better in the before picture (even if you don't), please vote for me today before 4 p.m. It is the very last day to vote for my blog. Go to the top right Circle of Moms button on this page and press. Scroll down and place a vote for Modernista Mama. Thank-you to everyone of my dear readers who voted :) I'm happy to be in the top 25!


Monday, October 8, 2012

A Hart Hall Thanksgiving, Nelson, BC

Just returned from the Kootneys,  British Columbia. We stopped at my sister Theresa's for a Thanksgiving feast. My sister Miranda and her family also joined us.
Theresa recently bought and restored a historical hall. She opened up her Veterinary clinic on part of the main floor and the second floor is dedicated to a massive hall and kitchen--perfect for hosting parties, suppers and dances. Her new clinic is amazing. High ceiling and big windows keep it well lit.
 It is now home to my darling Pyewacket--the cat we rescued from a tree in the forest behind my home (he'd been stranded for a week). I couldn't keep Pyewacket because my bully bog Pablo would probably have killed him. My sister said she'd take him to her clinic and find him a good new home. Well, guess what? Pyewacket wrapped his magic tail around her finger and she could not part with the handsome boy. So , Pywacket is now her clinic cat. I will blog and tell the true, amazing story about finding Pyewacket and our magical connection in an upcoming blog--maybe for Halloween, as he truly is a magical cat.
Enjoy the pictures of our Thanksgiving at Hart Hall. I admit to posting a few comical comments under a couple of the pics--I couldn't resist. I wanted to keep going, but thought I might offend, so there are only a few joke captions. 
The meal was perfection: 3 antibiotic-free free-range turkeys, appetizers, casseroles, veggies,stuffing,desserts, lots of beverages. My sister catered it herself! She cooked everything for 60 people! This is a woman who works full time at her vet practice and manages all Hall tenants and activities. 
The night included a talent segment. I have many pics of some of the acts.  My talent was to lead  the Thanksgiving guests to dance the Bachata to a song by John Lennon, Stand By Me. Too bad I was dancing and couldn't get a pic of that--everyone danced! It was great. I wish I lived in Nelson, Hart Hall would be shaking with my Zumba classes every night.

*If you enjoy my blog, please send a vote my way. Click on the Circle of Mom's button in the top right corner of this page and scroll down to vote for Modernista Mama. You can vote once a day until contest closes on OCT 11--only 3 days left to vote!
Thank-you to all those kind souls who have been diligently voting for me :)

Why yes, the butcher was out of turkey. However, the moose was a nice price.
Another bottle of vodka in the punch, no one will be the wiser .
Hart Hall? I thought it said Halston Hall. I'm here to see his spring collection.
Something's cooking, but what?
Whoot-whoot! The fruit punch is amazing!
Kelowna girls.
The party's getting started...
And how...
The kid has obviously not sampled the punch yet... 
John, lost in a sea of young women, contemplates his political speech for talent time.
Get this woman some punch, and quickly!
Behind the scenes at Hart Hall...
Paul, Kyran and friends agree: that was awesome punch.
Watching the talent show...
Artemis and Pip
Nem and Tabs do a spoof on a Taylor Swift video.
Tabs and Rascal (her sax).
Nem and her violin.
Don't Stop Believing!
Justin Bieber for Prime Minister!
Bieber? I was talking about Trudeau!
Hart Hall at Thanksgiving.
Hart Hall
John Lennon really got them going...
Captain America has got to go...and bad.
The Queen and King of the ball make their appearance. Joop really needed a drink. 
Blink and you'll miss me.
He thinks I'm pretty without any make-up on...
Carol and Kyran jamming. Artemis wants to sing...
Artemis and her back-up band.
Mist and Pip
Peter on top of the clean-up.

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