Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Next?

There wasn't a single snowflake that fell the entire month of November (in my neck of the woods anyway). Unheard of! What is our Canadian winter coming to? But tomorrow marks December's arrival and the weather channel is warning that we may receive our first snowfall (albeit a light one) during the night.

I am excited at the prospect but ill prepared. Where did I stash my ice scraper? I can only use my credit card for so long - not to mention it takes me forever to clear the windshield.

Lights are starting to appear randomly on houses on our street (not ours yet or if). After years of white lights being in vogue, technicolour is making a comeback ... red, green, gold and blue. And you know what? I like it! It looks kind've retro and takes me back to my youth.

So I am bracing myself for December, Christmas and everything that goes with it. I predict loads of snow, famjams, shopping, cooking and cleaning and I am going to make sure I savour every last bit of it. I love the anticipation and possibilities of change ... a brand spanking new month.

Who knows what's next?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Living Legacy

I remembered. We all did. Cause we never forgot ... Today is your birthday. Seventy candles would have set your cake ablaze.

Instead you are forever fifty-eight. You will never be old and I think that would give you a somewhat smug satisfaction.

Your gentle words of encouragement, and unconditional, unyielding love lives on in each of us. We speak your name, recount your wisdom and your fiery, feisty moments - and laugh. You were cute when you were mad - mostly. And sometimes you were fierce.

Your diminutive frame belied your resolute strength, and towering power.You touched many with your quiet unassuming ways.  I want to be just like you, and try - every single day. 

I find myself wanting to say you passed before your time, but I'm not sure if that is really true. You passed before our time - we just weren't ready to let you go. But you taught us well and left us intact and ever closer.

We are your living legacy - your family.

Today there will be no cake, no fuss, no fanfare. Just a family quietly reflecting, nursing the space your left unfilled. I feel your love - but miss your hugs. And on this anniversary of your birth, I will say what I have said so very often before ... we had the very best.

Happy Birthday Mom.

More about my Mom

Saturday, November 28, 2009

LIfelong friendship

I wish everyone could have one -- a lifelong friend. A friend who has known you since you were a child; one who is keeper of your history; who has shared life's milestones with you. Someone who has borne witness to your loves and losses; shared your joys; and helped navigate through treacherous waters. That special person who you have experienced the depths of despair with -- who has been your angel and light - and you their's - in times of darkness.

I wish for everyone what I have -- a lifelong friend. And today is her birthday. Fate delivered us to one another and the universe has worked hard to keep us forever bound.

We have celebrated 37 birthdays together .. as little girls we dreamed of writing together, rooming together and standing in one another's weddings. We dreamed of having little girls (just like us) and being friends as old women. If we both make it to "old" then we'll have the list completed.

She is more than my friend - she is a part of my very being and possesses a piece of my "complete".

And so my friend who I love so dearly  - happy, happy birthday. My greatest wish is that we grow old together to swap medical mysteries and share seniors' discounts.

I've written more about J here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Party in the USA - Not

You would never know it is the infamous Black Friday - not from where I sit -  in my Detroit hotel room. laptop propped on my knees as Kidlet works on her essay. Canadians don't have this crazy busy shopping day so here I am, in the big ole USA, perfectly poised to pounce all over shopping deals. And yet I choose not to. Frankly I am afraid of the mobs; I am too impatient to wait to buy; there is nothing I need or want THAT much; not to mention I really do not enjoy shopping.

On the way to the arena at 7:30 this morning we could see malls packed chock full of cars. For once I felt like the lucky one - opting for an early morn cold seat rinkside vs a cold long line in front of Walmart or Target. Several of the girls on the hockey team had to hitch rides with other parents bacause their mothers had been out all night shopping. I admire their stamina!

So to all of you who endure the ritual (I think my Pops is included in that group) I take my hat off to you. But for me and Kidlet, this will just be another quiet Friday - no Blackness here - biding our time and enjoying the togetherness. On second thought, it could turn dark!  *smile*

Have a great weekend everyone.

Signing off from Motown

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Motown Face Off

Kidlet and I are taking a road trip. Look out Motown - here we come - an invasion of crazy Canucks weasling in on the American Thanksgiving. The closest I've ever been to Detroit was from across the river in Windsor...

So we're throwing Kidlet's newly sanitized, sterilized and aerated hockey equipment into Benzie (with a few cans of Fabreez for good measure) and heading to America. It will be four days of alone time with Kidlet - kind of - in between hockey games and team dinners ... and if I can convince her to take her ipod earbuds out. I think if I agree to listen to the soundtrack of every High School Musical movie I may be in business.

So if you are a hockey fan, and are watching the Detroit game Saturday night ... and you see a giant maple leaf waving frantically from a box, it'll be me! 

To all of our American friends, we hope you have someone special to spend Thanksgiving with ... and that your holiday is memorable. Just try not to gobble gobble too much - or you'll end up stuffed instead of the turkey!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Five Signs That Christmas is On the Way

Sure signs that Christmas is on the way ...egads  in a month:
  • the Tim Hortons cups are decked out in Christmas finery a sure sign if there ever was one
  • I haven't started my Christmas shopping despite my best intentions I must be comfortable in that wild eyed, frantic frenzied state of last minute shopper.
  • our outside Christmas lights aren't up yet where the heck did we store them last year?
  • but some people's are neighbourhood show off
  • a happy little tickle is forming in the part of my tummy where excitement lives
I just had to write something about Christmas ... cause I love it so - and I have to figure out a way to squeeze all of that anticipation and excitement into four short weeks. Stay tuned to be inundated ... *merry merry*

Monday, November 23, 2009


It's that month, that time of year
the invisible internal clock
keeps track of minutes and hours
leading up to the

After all these years it still seeps and spills
profound and utter grief
for all that we had and lost'
leading up to the

It's that month, that time of year
internal memory recounts
precisely what procedure, medication
you endured leading up to the

It's that month, that time of year
when I want to steal
just a moment to let down -
feel the impact, shock and awe,
head on.

It's that month, that time of year
a dozen years have passed
I speak your name,
I sing your song and still
love lives on.

And still, the countdown is on ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

FAB Day in Every Way

Girls are FAB - that was the message today .... Pretty Sister was my date today to the charity event that my other two close amigos are involved in ... FAB Foundation. FAB - Fit, Active, Beautiful - has a mission to boost the self esteem and confidence of girls aged 11-13 years; they have started with a running program that encourages team building and goal setting/achieving.

The afternoon was billed as a ladies only luncheon and silent auction.  Known for my brawny athleticism (NOT) and love of food (YES), throw in a cause - and it was a no brainer!We arrived to a room abuzz with the chatter and laughter of women - a diverse, eclectic group of ladies - some groovin to the live Beatles Tribute band, some greeting one another with open arms, hugs and kisses and others just enjoying the electric vibe (akin to a big pajama party - without Twister).

Women like to help other girls and women. We get it - we've been there. We're daughters and many of us have daughters. We know the struggles with "self"  and  we also know that confidence and sound self esteem is paramount to being a happy, healthy girl ... and woman.

OK - there were a few men there -- some firefighters (fully clothed) posing for pictures with the ladies (in the name of charity), signing their calendars. Personally I found this to be out of place for the nature of the foundation,  but we had to laugh at how the dynamic of the room changes when men are present -- how women act. The ladies clearly enjoyed the presence of the firefighters and from what I could see, it was successful in raising money. I thought it would be more powerful to have the often overlooked female fighterfighters there representing "possibilities".

But who am I to find fault? The foundation has a noble mission and the founder is  clearly passionate about making the lives of these impressionable young girls better, and helping prepare them for the future. Bravo ladies! You warmed my heart and made me proud that I am your friend. You really are FAB.  Me? Fit, active, beautiful ... one out of three ain't bad!   *grin*

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Global Family

Yesterday when I got home from work I had not one - but two wonderful surprises waiting for me. I finally got word that I have been matched with a sister in the Women for Women sponsorship program. I applied over a month ago and have been anxiously waiting to get started. My application coincided with an appearance of the founder on Oprah - which translated into a huge interest in the program. I still haven't received the particulars but I feel good knowing that things are progressing.

The icing on the cake was the letter I received from the family of my new sponsored child, Genesis,  from Plan. The letter was written in Spanish and enclosed in an envelope they had crafted from a sheet of paper, bound with masking tape. Along with the rumpled photo of a cherub faced, dark eyed toddler, they enclosed a small white crocheted hat with Honduras etched in red pencil. They wrote that they hope I will think of them every time I look at it. I knew instantly that it would have a place on my Christmas tree this year ... and I will think of them.

It is no coincidence that I received these two reminders on the same day ... they were gentle nudges from the universe reminding me that there is great need in the world and that it takes so little to share, to make a big impact. It's true what they say about giving ... you get back more than you give.

You may be interested in my previous posts:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gifts That Give Us All More

How did this happen? It’s November 20th already! I promised myself that all of my Christmas shopping would be done by the end of November so that I would be free and clear to really enjoy the festivities – famjams, visits, dinners – that I love so much.

As optimistic that I usually am, I’m not sure I’m gonna make it this year. I haven’t even started. I haven’t formulated my thoughts around what special gifts I want to make/buy/order for the special ones in my life. And it really has to start with the thought, otherwise you waste countless hours aimlessly wandering a mall, wide eyed and panic stricken or glazed over and zombie like. I’ve done both.

But not this year! Last year I decided to bring extra joy and meaning to my Christmas gift giving and vowed not to do anything without love in my heart – I imposed a "no complaining" sanction on myself. I focused on buying gifts that were either handcrafted, locally or Canadian made, fair trade, organic or made from recycled materials. I also gave gifts that keep on giving: Kiva microloan gift certificates, cows and goats from, water for African communities and education for Afghan girls. The website has a huge variety of ideas for Gifts that Give More and trust me when I tell you that when you hit that donate/buy key, you will feel a rush of satisfaction knowing that you just gave a second chance to someone who really needs it.

I didn’t buy any wrapping paper so I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to disguise the gifts in creative ways (hello newspaper, coffee cans and tea towels!). I found joy in the journey and it was one of my most memorable holidays ever. I plan to do the same this year … Pity the one who gets pjs that smell like dark roast.

Actually – after writing all that out, I’m thinking that I may not have to leave the comfort of my couch! Just have to figure out where to keep that cow …

Do you have some sites or ideas for creative, thoughtful Christmas gifts? Do share!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I hadn't seen her in more than 10 years but tonight when I met my old dear friend Red (guess what colour her hair is) for dinner, time and space collapsed and it was as if we had never been apart. My friend S set it up. In another lifetime - two decades ago -- we all worked together. Now these two women are accomplished executives and I get to say that I knew them "before they were ..."

For three hours we swapped work philosophies, updated one  another on our parents, our husbands and our children.
It was a little odd to cover ten years in such a short time. Our lives look quite different when they are condensed, with time and space removed. As I was explaining the twists and turns that my own life had taken, I started laughing ... it all sounded so sorted ,,, but as I explained, it felt so normal to live it.

Today when I was telling my work colleague about my dinner to reconnect with my friend, she asked me why it had been so long since we'd been in touch. I didn't have an answer. Sometimes life just happens.

Funny enough, when we saw each other after the passing of so many years there was no awkwardness; no excuses; no guilt. Just big smiles and hugs and instant joy and happiness at seeing one another again. I have S to thank for this little reunion. As we bade our farewells, we promised not to let another decade pass before meeting again. But even if it does, there is comfort in knowing that there is a special relationship - a special someone who owns a piece of my past.

It occurs to me that I have a wonderful life ... and some pretty special people in it. And for that I am truly grateful.

Thanks S.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Passing on Through

Maybe it's recent birthdays of my two older daughters; maybe it was reading this quote from The Prophet that I posted on my other blog, Soul Snax. Whatever the reason, I've been reflecting on my daughters, how I raised them, the kind of parent I was... and what it meant to be a mother to them.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters
of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may house their bodies but not their souls ...
From the first  moments I was pregnant I had the acute sense that the life growing inside me was "on loan" -- not mine to own. I cherished the months I had my unborn baby to myself, knowing that in due time that baby would be shared with all who loved her. My babies were born, each with their own unique personalities  and I was surprised by this. I had the notion that babies were born blank slates, and that we as parents would be the influence in shaping them. That was only partially true. In some ways I felt that my babies were born intact with special aspects of them already seeded. My role was to nurture that which had already been delivered, to allow and cultivate them to grow into themselves.

They come through you but not from you

This is especially poignant. It is a good reminder that we are not parents to impose our own will, personalities and opinions on our children, but to help them develop free thought, perspective, evaluation and problem solving skills. (Easier said than done, for certain.) It is our job to love them and teach them about love and kindess ... and how to survive and thrive.

It's true ... they are merely passing through us on their life's journey. Just stopping in long enough to nourish and equip themselves before embarking on their own adventure.

And if we have played our part well, and loved them with every part of our being, then maybe, just maybe they will make home a frequent stopover on their life's travels.

They come through us - and back to us. But first we have to let them go ...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rooting for the Underdog

Isn't it true? We love to root for the underdog. There is something that is heartwarming, that moves us to see people who are managing with a liability, disability or are going it alone. We want to reach out and elevate them; help them reach new heights and realize their dreams. And even if we can't help them, we  applaude their unexpected achievements. We celebrate their hard fought successes.

I think "the underdog" reminds us of our own frailities and insecurities. When we witness obstacles being overcome, ceilings being smashed -- the possible made possible -- we are filled with hope. Our own sense of "anything is possible"  is validated.

So I guess you could say that when we are cheering on the underdog, we are cheering on a part of ourselves. Make sense?

PS -- Inspiration for the post -- I was just watching Dancing with the Stars ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Heeding the Call

The Africa dream is coming closer to realization. The itinerary was emailed to me and I have to finalize tomorrow -- then it's no turning back. Kidlet and I had some time tonight to get it all out on the table and reaffirm our commitment to a trip of this magnitude - both financial and adventurewise. It is just too expensive of a trip to take feeling indifferent or mediocre about it. Her eyes sparkled as I reviewed the details of the trip with her.

She told me last week that she felt Africa calling. I feel it too -- but even more than Africa, I feel time calling. My daughter is on the cusp of adulthood, about to leave the family cocoon to pursue her own dreams, embark on her on life's journey. Time is at a premium and I can't think of when next we will have an opportunity to share a life altering experience. There will be no distractions; we will have only one another to turn to, to converse with (in transit anyway). I am looking as forward to the long hours we will spend on the plane as much as any other part. Kidlet is so busy that I rarely get those quiet times anymore,  just to chat. I miss her, and having two older girls who have already left home, I have a better appreciation of how precious and fleeting this remaining time together is ...

Planning is underway. Excitement is growing to overflowing and I can barely believe that this dream is about to be fulfilled. Kidlet and me. Africa. It's calling -- and we're going!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Gift is You

you came to me when I was
very young
you changed me -
taught me things about myself
I never knew

you introduced me to
unconditional, infinite love
and I knew
we would be
forever connected.

I was  happy
you were born a girl
I wanted - with you
what I had
with my mother

thank you for
choosing me
from all the universe
to be
your mom

you are my
precious treasure
and on this day
I accept only the greatest good
for you

happy birthday cookie

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scenes from the Mall

Christmas is just over a month away. And a visit to the mall confirmed it! Special deals, Christmas glitter and the festive music of the season assault the senses the minute you step through the entrance. But for now it's all new and I am not yet season-weary, so I happily soaked it all in. Like most, Christmas is a special time of year, laden with rich memories.

In the US I think Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas season ... but for me, I start gearing up after my eldest daughter's birthday. That birthday is tomorrow. Another reason to celebrate; another reason for a famjam; and another blessing to count.

Couldn't help but smile at the display of retro products - had to snap a shot to share.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Gift For Me

Last year around this time, I made a commitment to myself and my blogging; I gave myself the challenge and the luxury of writing every day -- to seek the gifts and the "take aways" from each day lived. Ever since I was a child I kept a journal, but my entries were sporadic and although writing was always my creative outlet, it was the first thing that got pushed aside when I got busy or distracted.

I wanted to see what would be revealed if I made myself available for writing each and every day. A year later, I feel satisfied with my efforts, the joy that has been expressed, and the fulfillment I have experienced. This is a gift I gave myself.

I recently gave myself another gift ... a return to reading. And I am loving it. Last Christmas I was given a stack of favourite reads and months had gone by without me making so much as a dent in them. Next to writing, reading is one of my favourite things to do ... and I realized that unless I built it into my daily routine, it wasn't going to happen. Simple as that!

So after finishing A Thousand Splendid Suns (simply wonderful), I delved right into Say You're One of Them. I am only half way through the book, but I am enjoying it so much that I don't think I want it to end.

I am learning how to give myself the luxury of guilt free time to do things that are important to me.
Gift in aging: free to be! Life is good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day of Remembrance

My office shuts down on Remembrance Day, so I used my time off the way it was intended ... I went to the  ceremonies at the town square where the cenotaph stands. As I looked for a parking spot, I could hear the faint strains of bagpipe music. I fell into line with the masses who seem to be coming out of nowhere -- all heading for the square. I could feel my throat tightening and emotion starting to well with every step that took me closer. The first sighting of the wizened, craggy face of a veteran, standing slightly hunched - proudlly at attention, white gloved hand on the staff of the standard he bore ... tears released. It's the faces. They are faces of survivors, men and women who have born witness to unspeakable horrors, and suffered great losses.

The parade of military, Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and local police, firemen and Scottish Regiments that solemnly marched behind the piper painted a colourful canvas that completely overwhelmed me. People dabbed their eyes with tissue as they passed. Collective reverance and respect -- and gratitude. It doesn't happen often enough. But today we stood still and silent as a community and refllected. I thought of the men and women who spent years in trenches, water up to their knees, who faced their "enemy" in hand to hand combat. I reflected on the waste and pain of war -- and how soldiers are called into service in our country to keep peace and help rebuild nations. I thought of wars being fought at this very second around the planet and of people who cannot lay their heads down at night without fear.

I bowed my head in silent prayer and respect. No matter how we may feel about war and the politics that go with it, we have to remember that it is our brothers and sisters (and their families) who carry the torch and bear the burden of service.

And today, my beloved maple leaf flew at half mast, her brilliant crimson cutting the gray of the day -- and she was as glorious as ever.

Je me souviens.

Sacrifices Remembered

we remember

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

View from the Cube

We thought we could smell something burning - wires or something - and when I called reception to see if anyone else was complaining, I was told that a house near our office was on fire. I pulled my blinds open - I usually keep them down to block the view of the alley and parking garage (and the visitors that go along with it). I had a prime view of the burning roof right from my cube. It was fascinating to watch the firefighters in action. Good news was no one was hurt.

Some days, the view from the cube is more interesting than others - and today the view was interesting ...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Booty Boost

First there was the Bump-it to boost flat hair. And of course there is the push up bra to collect any bits of flesh on our front and redirect it to our chest in the  offchance that we want cleavage. Now there is the booty-pop to plump and enhance our backside. For the record - I am not in need of any of the above ... (almost wish I was). We had a giggle over the latest craze in my office and my colleagure graciously offered to model the Pepto Bismol pink panties.

Honestly, if there is any value in these gadgets, it's the laugh factor. We split a gut over these things. Can you believe that someone would actually buy them? I suggested to my petite little friend (shown in these photos) that perhaps the boot-pop would come in handy in her roller derby practices. Good way to cushion a fall.

A few months back I wrote a post on the Bump-it hair accessory ... a whimsical little ditty on a trivial little product. It is my most viewed post ever. Go figure.

Bump it up! Boost your Booty! It sounds like a rally cheer. I'm not sure if your hair will be fuller or if your booty will look boosted. But I guarantee that they will make you smile. And we can always use a smile.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Today was an absolute gift! The sky was deep sea blue - perfectly clear and sunny and it was so warm that we didn't need a jacket. Fritz wanted to rack up steps on the pedometer so he convinced me to take him for an extra long walk. The neighbours were all outside raking their leaves and pushing them to the curb for pick up by the vaccuum trucks that drive by and suck them up with oversized hoses. Our town is very progressive on the environmental front with green bins, pesticide bans, and no bagging bylaws for grass and leaves. The result is huge mounds of dried leaves lining the streets.

It seemed everyone wanted to be in the warm autumn air; to take advantage of this brief reprieve from the onset of winter - possibly the last blast of warmth and sun. Fritz and I loved the sunny Sunday delivered to us. Like I said - it was a gift - one that was appreciated fully. Thank you!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Leaf Cycle

I was at my parents' place today checking on things. I wandered into the back yard, camera in hand to see the changes autumn had delivered. In summer the back yard, rich with vegetation, is a  little piece of gardening paradise crammed with vegetables, fruit trees, roses, ivy, peonies, irises, grape vines, a pond and a gazebo.

Today it looked quite different. The cedar shrubs were bound in burlap, the trees were stripped of leaves, and the gardens were turned with heaps of compost. What is usually a cornucopia of colour was now faded tones of beige, yellow and brown. A scattering of orange maple leaves broke the colourless monotony.

The gardens and trees had been tucked in, readied for a long winter's sleep. Soon, courtesy of Mother Nature, the dismal nakedness will be blanketed in glistening, virgin snow. And even more wondrous - will be the cycle of rebirth when tender green shoots push through to announce Spring. 

It occurred to me that we also have these cycles in our lives ... times when the colour dims, happiness wanes and the energy seems to stall. I can recall periods when my life was stalled; they were short slices of time that I think were necessary. They allowed me to reflect and regroup and after a season of hibernation, I would emerge stronger, more focused and dare I say - vibrant.

The climb makes the view from the  mountains that much more spectacular. So here's to a season of pause and reflection; the calm before the storm.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Pause

It's 8:33 pm and my eyelids are drooping. OK - I'll even go as far to admit that I dozed off - computer on my lap, teacup resting on my leg - just for a bit. Fridays are like that. After the stresses of a long week, it seems the moment I allow myself to relax, sleepliness creeps in. And I am not going to fight it. I take my orders from my inner guidance system -- when it tells me I'm tired, I sleep.

I think Friday is a reward for enduring the crazies of the work week. Friday is the pause before the weekend. So tonight I pause and tomorrow I will start again.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Commute Does Not Compute

I do it every day, just as millions of others do. I commute. I drive 30 minutes to work, and 45 minutes home  - every day. Most days I enjoy it. I use the time in the morning to think about the day in front of me as I hum along to my favourite songs. The traffic is usually pretty light at 6:40 am with the exception of the steady stream of transport trucks heading for the U.S. border.

The drive home for some reason is not usually quite as delightful. The traffic is heavier and it seems that every night there has been a rush hour accident to jam the highway. When that happens I just take some deep breaths and tune to my favourite satellite radio station  -- the Coffeehouse or the Bridge (nice acoustic rock sounds) and settle in for the ride.

Tonight the drive home was especially harrowing. The roads were wet but it wasn't raining. The sun was setting low in the sky when I drove up the ramp into a stream of red taillights. The stream flowed along at geriatiric speed -- bumper to bumper  --- alternating with sporatic break aways and sudden stand stills. My nerves were frayed ... at least twice I avoided being rear ended by swerving onto the shoulder. It's not easy to drive safely when your eyes are locked on the rear view mirror trying not to be hit by tailgaters.

Commuting is a way of life for many, and most have it much worse than me -  some have no job at all. But sometimes I think that the hour and a half I spend trying not to die on the highway could be better spent. At times the commute simply does not compute.

I try to appreciate the blessings that  are bestowed upon me -- a great job working for a noble cause, just a city away. So tomorrow when I get in my car, I will tune to my favourite channel and sing all the way to work, and marvel at the  majesty of the sight of the sun rising just behind the steel plant. And I will do it with gratitude in my heart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

First Signs

With the Halloween pumpkin barely starting to rot, retailers have kick started the Christmas campaign. Today at work my friend and I took a lunch time walk to get some fresh air and rack up some much needed steps (on that pedometer I forgot at home today). We opted for the German deli just a short walk from our office. There was the store window all decked out in Christmas finery ... stuffed animals, garland, life sized wooden toy soldiers, and of course loads of chocolate wrapped in shiny foil packages.

We strolled through the aisles chatting and pausing at every "samples" display to taste the delectables - chicken and mango sausage, bear paw strudel, fresh onion and herb cream cheese, marble cake, rye bread and brie cheese. Who needed lunch!

With the festive decorations and pre-wrapped treasures stacked  about the store, I felt as though I was in the belly of Christmas. And it managed to ignite the embers of the season's spirit in me. While the thought of Christmas being a mere 2 months ago terrifies me, it also excites me. Lots to look forward to in the upcoming few months. Always something wonderful to look forward to  ...

So today brought me the first signs of Christmas ... what a gift!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On the Move

I already knew that I spend way too much of my waking hours on my backside. Now I can prove it! I was the grand prize winner in our healthy workplace challenge today. The prize - a super duper deluxe pedometer.

I immediately clipped it onto my waist band and starting pacing the aisle outside my cube - and was delighted to see the number rolling up. As someone who is goal oriented - the idea of measuring  results is very appealing to me.

I found myself checking it after every stroll to the washroom, trip to the coffee maker and the photocopier. I even opted for a trip to the gym at lunch - just so that I could make the number climb.

After a full day of trying to move my body more -- I hit just under 6,000 steps. I checked the chart and sighed with relief. I am a notch above sedentary - low active.

Here's how the number of steps pan out ...

  • 5,000-7,499 steps a day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and is considered "low active."  that hurts
  • 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and is considered "somewhat active."
  • 10,000 steps/day is a daily goal and indicates you are "active".
  • Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".
It seems like the magic number is 10,000 steps and that will be the goal I will aspire to. So tomorrow I will strap my podometer back on and walk like there's no tomorrow. The way I look at it, I can only get better.

So - forward march!

Monday, November 2, 2009


you've always been
iron will
rolled into delicate

you always are
blazing comet
lighting the universe

as anyone I know
your path
is your very own

that's what you are
half the age
of your mother

Happy Birthday Harmo,
Mama oo xx

More Harmony

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Little More Time

We rolled the clocks back an hour last night. I think I've said this before, so at the risk of being repetitive, I'll say it again - this is one of my favourite days of the year.

I woke up early, caught up on the news from the comfort and warmth of my puffy duvet, took my time getting up and about - and it was still only 8:30! I started a new book - Say You're One of Them - drank a pot of coffee, nibbled on toast and it was still not even 10 AM. It felt like the endless morning ... one long, lazy, delicious morning. And I loved every single second of it.

I popped a pot roast into the oven, and caught up on my cleaning. It was time to say s'long to Charlotte's Webs -- not the book -- the spider webs that had collected around the fireplace. I got reacquainted with the vaccuum and the Shark steam mop.  I made a few calls and my sister dropped around for some tea.  All in all it was a fairly low key day - but a satisfying one. I made sure to savour every single second.

It got me thinking ... if one extra hour could add so much enjoyment to, and make such a difference in my day, imagine what I could accomplish if I lived consciously in every hour?

Note to self: live fully, consciously in the now. Treat time as a precious gift. Appreciate it.