Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Longer Updating this Blog

I've switched to my new blog, and will no longer be posting here.

I'll be keeping this alive for now but you may wish to unfollow this blog.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Life is like a box of crayons

I envision my life to be like this quote written by John Mayer

"Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. 

I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. 

I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? 

I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation… so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, "hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "no - I want magenta!"" 

We truly do make the life we have and we alone control how each day will evolve. Some will be completely regimented, plan every minute, write down every morsel they eat, stay on the path well travelled. Each day, off they go on their "purple" thing. 

But some of us will be different and that is ok. We want "magenta". To color outside the lines. To break the routine and take a different path. To live in the moment. 

If life seems a bit dreary and colorless—black & white—use your box of crayons and go wild. Be different, don't be afraid to show your true colors. And if Razzle Dazzle Rose is the one your choose, don't let anyone tell you to put it away. Because tomorrow you might be Fuzzy Wuzzy, Mango Tango or Screamin' Green. And occasionally it's ok to be Brown or Blue or even Purple. 

So what are you? The 8-color box or the 64-color box?

Click these links to Crayola Colors:
List of 133 Crayola crayon colors
8 Pack Crayons: red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, orange and purple!
64 Pack Crayons

ps: If you are like me and use the British/Canadian spelling of colour, please disregard my use of color as I was following the way the quote was written.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best Weekend Ever

I had the most amazing long weekend where we celebrated Victoria Day in memory of some long dead queen. But who can turn down a long weekend and the official start of summer.

My sister drove up from Toronto so there was a lot of visiting and partying. The weather was amazing. Hot and sunny Friday to Monday.

I had planned to paint my new guest room this weekend—the room that has been empty since my son moved out a few months ago.

Friday afternoon whilst sister did some sightseeing, I painted the trim then off we went to get some Benjamin Moore paint with the name of Muslin. A side trip for fajitas and a beer at the Lonestar restaurant sidetracked the rest of the day.

Saturday had me out for my Nordic Walking group. God I love walking with poles. We get a great upper body workout and by the time I get home I have that good "tired" feeling from exercise.

I then declared there would be no painting inside on such a glorius day. Painting can wait for a rainy day IMHO. So we pulled weeds, hauled out the patio furniture, washed everything down and sat to enjoy just being outside in the sun. Then it was off to my daughter's house for a BBQ and lovely sunset fire. I picked up the same outdoor firepit to burn real wood. We have a gas one but I love the snap crackle and pop of real wood burning. And it was cheap from Walmart.
This is the picture from the side of the box!
Sunday was busy as other family was coming for a "gazebo raising" party. Sort of like a barn raising where the men work and the women cook. The men banged and read instructions in french until finally the gazebo was raised. The women (well it was mostly me) put together a great dinner and with the evening warm and dry we partied like it was 1999. Well not really. I think I was in bed by 10.
Gazebo raising excuse for a party!

We had a few of these:
Frozen Pomegranate Margarita
Frozen Pom-aritas
1 ounce POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 ounce tequila (or I used vodka)
1 ounce triple sec liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
11/2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water dissolved together)
Salt and lime for garnish (optional)
Preparation: Combine first 6 ingredients in an electric blender. Serve with salt or lime, if desired. 

Or click for this amazing Frozen Pomegranate Margarita recipe. Or find me on Pinterest! and Pin it! I'm at:

Yummiest drink ever!

Monday was a day to recuperate. Reading, napping and just taking it easy.

But what an enjoyable and busy weekend to just enjoy life. I gotta do more of that because there is a saying: "You can sleep when you're dead."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stress and the Lap-Band

Just found this great info about why the band gets tight during stress and at different times of the day. I actually believe the guy. Click here to read the original blog post by Dr. Terry Simpson, MD (Lapband surgeon from Arizona). BTW, he has a lot of other blog posts well worth reading.

Here is his post. the part in red about the balloon in the band being semi-permeable might explain why I have problems when I fly.

"Often times patients will come in because their band feels too tight. They find more difficulty with some foods, and are uncomfortable. They ask me “does stress cause the band to tighten?” The answer is, yes, it does.

The biology of stress is this: when you have stress, be it physical stress (like an illness) or mental stress (like your mother-in-law coming by for a short two week visit)…the body reacts by retaining fluid. You may notice that wedding rings are tighter, and there is more swelling in the legs at night.

The balloon of the band is a semi-permeable membrane, meaning it is osmotically active. In plain English: the more water you retain, some is transmitted to the band, so it swells.

If a patient has 5.5 cc in their band (we measure it) and they come in and it feels tighter, we find they have 6 cc in the band. Where did the ½ cc come from? That is from the extra water the body is carrying. Since the balloon on the band is semi-permeable it will retain more water also.

This is the same reason that most people find the band to be tighter in the morning. In the evening you may notice you have some swelling of your ankles – by gravity your body water has gone down to the legs. In the morning that swelling is gone, and the water has gone back to the central compartment of the body where the band is. If we measure the band in the morning it can have 0.25 to 0.5 cc more in it (which can make a difference).

This is also why we don’t like bands being too tight. People need room for stress – of all kinds. Leaving room in the band to allow for this, means that patients will have fewer difficulties."

Huh. You learn something new everyday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Raising Kids

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings" by Hodding Carter.

I really like this quote because someone recently asked me if I would still have kids if I had to do it all over again? 

Babies seem to be popping up all over the place. There are a few at work "expecting" and the new movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is coming out soon. Of course I knew that my answer would make a great blog post. And since Mother's Day is happening, what better time to answer. 

You never forget that moment when you find out you are pregnant. The thrill of a new life, the changes that would be forever, someone to call you mom. The first smile, the first giggle, the first sniffle. 

The barfing, the weight gain, the swollen feet, the sleepless nights. And all of that was before the baby came into this world. The good always seemed to outweigh the bad though. 

I was married in my late twenties and had my daughter just before my 30th birthday. My son followed 2 years, 1 month later. We had our million dollar family. 
It was exciting and thrilling, a new life. We were yuppies—young urban professionals—producing yuppie kids. We rallied against overcrowding in our schools, peanut butter was banned from lunches and day care became the norm. Remember “thirtysomething”—a TV show about raising kids in the 80’s? 

Most of my friends drove Volvo’s, although I drove a Buick. We all had a nice house in the suburbs, dressed our kids in designer clothing and took them to McDonald’s for Happy Meals and a romp in the ballroom. 

There was no Facebook or cell phones. Crap, not many even had a computer. We rented movies to play on our VHS videoplayer hooked up to a TV that didn’t have a remote—dials only to change the station. Our kids watched Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and his neighbourhood and Polka Dot door on PBS. 

I lucked into pretty good babies. They were sleepers and rarely were cranky or colicky. We got through the rough patches. There were times when you question whether you made the right decision to bring a child into this world. 

I say it is. 

Kids are a financial burden but somehow you make it work. In the early 90’s, my hubby lost his job and I only had part-time work. He gradually developed his own business over the years but the first few were lean. Lots of shopping for clothes in discount stores and making most meals from scratch. But we made it. And I think it taught my kids that you don’t get everything you want. 

The best thing I ever did (and maybe a good piece of advice) was allowing any and all friends to come play at our house. I was stunned that so many moms and dads do not want their kids to bring friends home. Sure there were extra snacks and extra drinks to hand out and cleaning up some messes but at least I knew where my kids were and see the friends that they made. Some of them even called me “mum”. 

In most cases you don’t give up on your kids. You stick by them in good times and bad. You made that commitment the day you found out they were yours for keeps. You can’t go back on your word. Nope, you have to deal with what was given you. 

Both of my kids grew into great kids. I know other parents whose kids did not. Both of mine graduated university and both are working—one making a great salary, the other not so great. My daughter is getting married in the fall. My son is still looking for the right girl. 

Kingsmere, Quebec 1989 

It is hard. You will make mistakes. You will doubt yourself. 

There are times when you coast through parenting—the soccer tournaments, the kisses and hugs, the good report cards, the smiles on Christmas morning. Sometimes you want to throw in the towel—the whining, the fundraising, the exhaustion. 

It can be harrowing when you have to discuss things like boys and girls and sex and making it in this world—getting an education, getting a job, living on your own. 

And when the big crocodile tears stream down the face of your little girl because a boy has just dumped her you will feel the pain in the pit of your stomach as if it is happening to you. But when another boy proposes and you see sheer happiness on that same face you know you wouldn't have missed one moment of their life. 

So yes, if I had it to do over again, I would still have kids. 

Besides they are always reminding me not to forget that "they choose my nursing home"! 

What about you. If you had to do it all over again would you still have kids?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poutine is NOT a National Dish

This is just sick. Really sick.

Wendy's Canada seems to think we should make this Heart Attack on a Plate the national dish of Canada. Don't know what Poutine is? Here's the recipe:

  • Start with a huge plate of French Fries
  • Top with a bunch of Cheese Curd
  • Drench the entire pile with Gravy.

Our way of making every Canadian fat(ter). Our kids too.

I'm just a bit ticked off that they think this is a cute marketing plan. Please don't "like" their page.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Walking is My Exercise of Choice

Walking has been part of my life for over 5 decades. From walking to elementary and high schools, to walks through the neightbourhood and trails close to home and when travelling.

No running, no biking. Walking. I choose to walk for health because I enjoy it. Not because it will help me lose weight because I have found after all this time it won’t. 

I do it because I like it. 

I know others who are at the gym 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. Good for them. It’s not for me. I didn’t renew the gym membership this year. 

Over my lifetime, I have tried various gym pursuits, including running, but always fell back on plain and simple walking. 3-5 km a day, most days of the week. And you know what? It’s something I like to do and it is the only thing I have kept up for all these years. Snowshoeing in the winter, hiking in the summer and the treadmill at times. We're on our 3rd treadmill having worn out the previous two. Now I will admit months can go by where I just sit at home, but then something clicks and I'm off again. Lacing up the runners, plugging in the headphones and walking around the neighbourhood. 

Last year on our Riverboat Cruise down the Danube, I noticed a bunch of walkers, with poles trekking along the path which runs along the river. It was intriguing. 

When a friend invited me to go with her to a class in Nordic Walking (also called Urban Poling), I jumped at it. Nordic walking uses poles while walking or hiking. The poles give you an upper body workout, an all over body conditioning. Here is the class info for the group I joined in my area (Ottawa, Ontario) called Nordic Walkfit

Saturday was my first "walk". I loved it.

There is something exhilarating being out in the fresh air, sun shining down, heart pumping. Knowing that each step keeps you alive and well.

So I’ll move along, poles at the ready, maybe even take up yodelling to pass the time as I head over vale and hill.
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