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Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year over...

It's December 30, 2007. In two days it will officially be a new year and with it, a whole host of possibilities.

I can't believe the month is almost over, let alone the year! December turned out to be just as eventful as the entire year. Christmas was lovely. Ryan and I enjoyed our first Christmas together as husband and wife with family and friends in Victoria. We visited with who we could and generally took it easy. If was so nice to actually be able to relax over the holidays. Normally it's an insane combination of constant visiting and travelling that sees us entering the new year exhausted. This year we insisted on only doing one place at a time, meaning that we actually got to enjoy ourselves.

I missed seeing Ryan's family but his mom and dad came down a couple of weekends before and we went out to dinner with them and Aunt Dagmar. I really enjoyed spending the time with everyone.

Speaking of time together, I was soooo happy to see my Dad. 6 weeks away, he was really looking forward to those two weks at home. He even got to come home a couple of days early. This was all well and good but the plan got a sudden complication. My parents picked us up on the 21st from the ferry and went around, had lunch and did some errands. Got back to the house to find a message on the answering machine. Turns out that they wanted him to come back early to open up a new camp. This is HUGE news becuase it means that it's my Dad's kitchen and he calls the shots. It also means that he gets paid accordingly for his management role. There was no way he could it down but he did refuse to leave on Christmas Day like they orginally suggested.

So I got up at 4:45 am on Boxing Day and my Mom and I took him to the airport. I was never more nervous to drive that on that drive back to the house. It was very dark and the roads were icy, sucking up what little light there was. I desperately focused on the white lane lines hoping to stay in my lane. Proble was that every time cars came in the opposite direction, I momentarily lost the lines. That and I was incredibly tired. It was 5:30 am and no coffee shop on the Pat Bay Hwy to be found. Got back to the house at 6am and promptly put my Pjs back on and crawled back into bed to sleep fitfully for another two and a half hours. Finally dragged myself out of bed at 8:30 to find out that if we wanted to catch the 11 o'clock ferry as planned, our bus left at 9:01. Shit!! So we raced around packing the last of our stuff, eating breakfast and woke my Mom up (who was as tired as I was) to say goodbye.

Got back into Vancouver, did a load of laundry and met up with my friend CR. We went out to Burnaby and enjoyed the leftover Christmas snow that still clung to the ground at the higher elevations. After the brisk and lovely walk, we went to Metrotown to grab dinner and then we went our own way; Ryan and I popped into a few stores to see if any deals were to be had. I got one top. That's it!

I've come to the realization that although I haven't gained significant pounds back since before the wedding (when I stopped goiing to the gym), I have in fact lost my slimmer figure. Which, when you try on the sizes that used to just fit and now can't even be done up, it quite distressing.
So, 2008 is the year I finish losing the extra weight. No more games. If Ryan and I want to go ahead with starting a family soon, then I want to have the healthiest body and mind possible. I owe it to myself and to the child I hope to carry someday soon.

Speaking of baby... I have fallen in love with the sweetest little girl. She is so beautiful and I want you to meet her too. Please say hello to Kairi Leanne:

Isn't she just amazing?!? She slept in my arms for a good half an hour. A little restless 'cause the poor sweetheart has a cold. Ryan widely avoided holding here not becuase he didn't want to, but becuase he was afraid that if he did, he'd want one too. Ha!! Go figure...

Seeing this beautiful child has only solidifed our plan that much more.

Work is working out my contract and hopefully it'll be in place in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I've got two major projects to complete in January (at least that's what my boss would like- we will see what the reality is). The one I'm really excited about is the uniform catalogue. I get to create a catalogue of everything that is in our uniform program, including doing photo shoots with our employees. how cool is that? The only downside is that I'm supposed to have it done in a few weeks! That's a lot of work and coordinating and a travel and editing and so forth that may or may not take longer. But we'll see what happens. Right now, I'm designing the page layouts. Next up are the written sections and the photo taking. After that is editing and pasting all the photos and text. But you know what? I think I'm up to the challenge. Bring it on!

As 2007 comes to a close and 2008 is about to begin, I'm reflecting. But more on that later...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Answers at last...

Well, I got the results of the blood test, and we are NOT pregnant. I actually took it better than I thought I was going to, probably because I've gone over all the reasons why this outcome will work better for us in the end. At least now we have the opportunity to get our finances in gear and I have the chance to get my body in shape. Ryan and I have agreed that we need a year to get ready and then after that, we'd love to have an addition to our family.

Until then, I've decided that I'm going to live vicariously through the my friends with their new baby and I can't wait to meet Kairi for the first time. You want to know what's crazy? I've never held an infant before. Oh, I've held my one-year old cousins, but never a baby so young! She'll be four weeks at Christmas, can you believe it?

So now I am looking at the steps I need to take to get where I want to go (nothing new there). I spoke to my manager and I've been assured that I won't need to look elsewhere for work, that they'll be able to give me the hours I need. She then spoke to our boss who told her, "Don't let her go anywhere!" It's nice to be wanted...

So that's that. I'll be working four days to start and at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) I'll be working full-time. Meanwhile, it's time to do research into 1) new places to live and 2) the people and places I need to go to in order to propell myself forward as an artist.

Here we go...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All Good Things Must Begin Somewhere...

It's taken me a week to sit down and write this post. At first I wasn't sure why but if I really think about it, it's all so big that I guess I needed time to digest, process and accept what I'm doing.

Last week, for the second time in a few days I took a home pregnancy test and it turned out negative. I cried. I mean really bawled like a baby! (no pun intended)

It was in those tears that I understood for the first time how much I wanted to be pregnant. How utterly desperate that drive was. The negative result served to show me that way deep down inside, I knew that I was meant to be a mother. That in the grand scheme of things, I am here on this Earth to change the world thought two things: my children and my art.

It's sooooo simple but so incredibly profound. That moment when you understand your purpose in life is so big and so powerful, it knocks you to the ground.

Somehow, the next day, I managed to spit this out to Ryan. I have to say, my incredibly wonderful husband took it all in stride. I told him what I truly wanted and asked him if he was willing to take a giant but well planned leap with me, if he was willing to take some risks and let me put myself out there. He said when I said it like that, how could he say no.

So here goes; this is the plan so far:

I am not going back to school in January to spend another $15 000 on a bachelor degree that when completed still requires me to go to grad school and spend another $12 800 that we won't have in order to be able to practice as an art therapist.

The alternative? Why don't I just be what I am already (an artist) and find a way to help people through that? So that's what I going to do. 2008 is the year that I take the leap and start being who I am: an artist.

Meanwhile, in order to get financially together and be able to devote some time to my artist pursuits, I'm going to work more where I am and/or get a second job and then go from there.

So that's where we're at, except there is still one more hitch to our plan...

I'm not entirely certain that the pregnancy tests were right. It may be all in my head but when my period arrived four days late last week and lasted only three days, it was yet another signal that something was going on with my body. For all I know I want a baby so bad my body is simulating symptoms. And while that theory may just be true, I'm still in doubt. Call it intuition or maybe I'm just crazy but I went to see my doctor and asked to get a blood test done to determine once and for all (hopefully) whether or not Ryan and I are going to be parents in August.

There, I said it all! I've put it out there. Just as 2007 was "My Year", 2008 is one of discovery and new adventures. And you know what? I'm ready for it, bring it on!

Claire and I have decided on our motto for this new year:

Anything Is Possible

I wrote my last of two final exams today and walked away from UBC confident in my decisions and sure that I am once step closer to being on the path I'm meant to be on.

In three or four days we'll know whether or not that includes being parents so soon in our marriage. A week ago I had a hard time reconciling the negative results, but now, today, I would be okay with either.

Whatever is meant to be is meant to be.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy December 1st!

"Well the weather outside is frightful,
but the fire is so delightful,
and since no place to go,
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!"

Wow, is it ever coming down!

Happy Birthday Kairi!

Kairi Leanne was born yesterday at 5:47, weighs 8lbs 8oz and is 19.5" long. Everyone is doing well and Mom and Baby were expected to be home today. Congrats Cass and Dustin!! I am a very giddy "auntie"!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Winter chill, doctors visits and other curiosities...

Well if we weren't sure before, we can be certain now that it is officially winter. Yesterday it was O degrees when I went to work in the morning. Not that I'm complaining because, I'll confess that both Ryan and I are wishing for snow and are feeling a little Christmasy (is that a real word?).

But before the holidays arrive, I'd really like to get rid of this cold/cough/whatever you want to call it. I keep going up and down, feeling better and then worse and then better etc. My doctor intially though it was an underlying allergy that was being iritated by a virus (that I got from Ryan-thanks Love). But four weeks later, I still feel like shit and with the cold weather settling in, my damn nose won't stop running. But the scary part, the part that worries me, is that my lungs rattle when I breathe. I mean, when I exhale they make a similar sound to a stomach rumbling. And there's so much crap in my throat sometimes that I have a hard time breathing.

Allergy my ass!

So I think before the week is out I am going to need to seek a second opinion. Time to go to the clinic.

Maybe I'll ask about the other wierd things... like I am SOOO tired all th time (just like last year-could just be because I am sick) but the other strange thing is that I am unusually hungry in the last few days (feed a cold, starve a fever?). I mean really, I can't make it from lunch to dinner without having something to eat. And last night, we had dinner, and I'll admit I didn't have too much stirfry, but I ate enough so that I wasn't hungry (trying to get back on the wieght loss gig) but by 9 pm I was so hungry I couldn't stand it and had to eat a granola bar. Even stranger was that by the time we went to bed at 11pm, I was hungry yet again.

I must be going crazy!...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Seasons Turning

Sometimes it sneaks upon you so quickly it makes your head spin. Its presence familiar and perhaps even welcomed…The first signs of winter. It is the wind, mostly, that tells me for sure that fall has left and a new season has arrived. It is unlike any other wind I’ve known. It is cold, often chilling you to your bones but it also feels warm. It reddens your cheeks and freezes your arms, and yet, somehow it warms. It makes you feel alive, as if everything truly isn’t dead yet. You can feel its vibrancy; it energizes you, putting a spring into your step. It reminds of the succession of time and makes you wonder where the past months have flown. How did I not see it coming? What have I done all this time?

I find myself breathing in the beautiful cool air with abandon. It is one that numbs your skin and even maybe, your mind, but it will never numb the soul. It is soul, the earth’s soul stopping by to remind us that another year is slowly coming to an end…passing before our very eyes. Each day, we breathe one breath after another, one heartbeat follows another. We continue. Everything continues.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reflections on Married Life

It's coming up on two months soon and Ryan and I have both been thinking about life as a married couple. Since we got married people have been asking us what being married is like. Well, as we're wont to say, it's pretty much the same. Except more cuddly.

I've been thinking about the subtles shifts in our relationship. I don't know why I'm more affectionate, but I am. I imagine it could be the fact that we've committed to spending the rest of our lives together that would make our feeling more intense. We've made that shift between committed partners to life-long companions. There's something about that fact that makes me smile.

I also have to say that I take my role as a wife very seriously. Because we had been living together for some time, we had gotten the "old married couple" thing down pat. But on top of that, I am mastering the whole "nagging wife" bit. Not that I wasn't good at it before, but now I seem to be perfecting it. Guess it's because I know he won't just turn around and walk out of my life becuase of it. Maybe it makes us a little closer. we've learned to accept and put up with eachothers idiosynchroncies and faults and I won't speak for him but for me, I think those things make me love him that much more.

In the last couple of weeks we've been talking about plans for Christmas. Between school and work schedules, I've already had to figure out December, or at least partially. So far, I'm done classes on Nov.30 and then I have a final exam on the Dec.10th and 11th. After that, I'm free till Jan.7th! Yay! So far, our plans are to spend Christmas in Victoria. I think we'll be coming over on the 21st, but stay posted for updates.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Summertime Blues

I think I've hit that rut that sometimes happens in the summer. I just wish it could happen sometime else...

Everything gets so muddled. School, work, everything. I feel like I'm in a borderline panic attack mode. I just need to breath and everything will be okay.

I'd really like to feel like I can keep it all together, but the balance is so fine, so delicate.

Breathe. Just breathe and everything will be okay.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Time Off

Finally... I'm on vacation! And I'm doing laundry, yay! Not sure what I olan to do with my week off, except that I have a coffee date a friend on Thirsday and a workout tomorrow. Hmmm, what can I do? I can go anywhere with my bus pass and fast trak sticker. The possibilities are endless.

Although, I suppose I should try to do something productive while I'm at it...

On another note, a very Happy Birthday wish for a certain someone... you know who you are! ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Guess what????

It's official!!!!!

I am now a student at the University of British Columbia! Looks like all my planning will actually happen. I feel so relieved to just know. The biggest surprise is the fact that I found out so early. I am so stoked to have gotten early admission. Guess my grades were good enough after all...

UBC... watch out, here I come!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Weekend at Last!

It's about bloody time!

This week has been too long and I am so glad that it's done. Yay for four-day weekends! Today was pretty awful but it did have its highlights. One of those highlights being that I got my brand new redesigned business cards. I have to say that with those, my new camera and the catalogue I'm just about finish creating, I'm really starting to feel like a "Professional Artist". I'm hoping that this will help people take me seriously when I start to make my move. Lets just say that Descriva Questa Art is thriving, and perhaps some day soon, I'll actually start recooping what I'm putting in. But there's time for that yet.

I'm really looking forard to our trip to Victoria. I haven't been for awhile now and I really miss everyone. Sunday will be a family get-together and birthday celebration for my brother and my aunt. We're coming over on the Sat morn (9 am) ferry and then it's a whirlwind of wedding activities including meeting with the marriage commissioner, checking out the car rental, possibly meeting with the flower grower and then on Sunday we get to do something really fun... cake tasting! With less than 6 months to go, I'm not just feeling excited, I'm well... giddy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Night and Day...

What a week!!! Glad to be starting a new one, especially one with such amazing weather!

Last week was long and gross. It rained almost non-stop and made having vertigo even worse. But I'm all better now; feeling great! But it took a couple of days to bounce back, especially considering what happened on Friday...

After 5 years of post-secondary education, I've seen it all in terms of exams. They no longer scare me. But nothing prepared me for a complete loss of control over my exam environment. Normally, my psyc class is in a large lecture theatre. We have about 90 people in the class, so when we were moved next door into a room 1/3 the size (we got bumped for ESL testing), let's just say that it was a little cramped. At first I didn't have anyone on either side of me but a guy came in 5 minutes after the exam started and sat on my left. It was really warm in the room (opposite what it normally is) and I felt like everyone was squished in around me. So when this guy sits down beside me, I start to feel really claustrophobic. And then he starts coughing... very loudly. And then I can hear people moving things really loudly out in the hall across the tiled floors in Langara's halls.

And then the guy keeps coughing! By this point, I'm getting really agitated and have looked at 6 questions but only answered 2. I can feel myself getting panicky and am trying to tell myself to relax and breathe and just focus on the test. But how can I when Mr. Coughs A Lot won't shut up? I'm almost ready to offer him my water at this point glance. But I keep getting more agitated. Before I know it, I'm in a full blown, massive panic attack. My heart is racing, I can barely catch my breath and I'm almost in tears. I look up in front of me and Ross (my instructor) catches my eye and asks if I'm all right. I shake my head and tell him I can't concentrate. The guy next to me muttered 'sorry'. Ross came over and knelt beside me and told me that it was okay to take a break and that if I needed to reschedule that would be fine.

So I grabbed my water bottle and hurried out of the class, just managing to hold back the tears until I got into the hall. Then I lost it. I ended up going to Disability Services to see Patsy. I have to say that I love Patsy. She is so lovely to talk to and very helpful, so it's no wonder that I sought her out. She was with a student briefly, so I paced outside her door. When it was my turn, I walked into her office. She took one look at me and went for the Kleenex box. But I was starting to calm down by this point (all that pacing), so I just sat in the chair at her desk and told her what happened. She suggested not going back and torturing myself when it probably wouldn't do me any good. So we rescheduled for 9am this morning.

I went in this morning a little early and wrote the exam in half an hour! It wasn't nearly as hard as people had complained about. I can't believe I let them psych me out (no pun intended)! I think I aced it, but I guess we'll see on Friday when we get our results.

Suffice to say, Friday was intense for me. But I walked home, had dinner (Ryan cooked) and then we went to see Reign Over Me. OMG! What a fantastic movie! But really intense, so I was a bit of a wreck by the time we got home. And Adam Sandler... can anyone say Oscar?

As for the rest of my weekend, I finally got to buy something that I have been waiting a long time for... a lovely, beautiful Pentax digital SLR camera... but I'll tell you more about that later, since I have drawing homework to do for tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I feel like crap

God, my head is spinning. Or rather, I'm staying still and the world is spinning around me. I'm on day six of experiencing the interesting phenomenon that is vertigo. It's kinda like being drunk on wine, only constantly and without the pleasure of actually drinking the wine. Saw my doctor yesterday to make sure it wasn't anything serious but he didn't seem concerned. It's probably just a virus and it should go away soon. It's already better than a couple of days ago.

My cultural theory class didn't help but it was, as usual, fascinating. We were talking about gender performativity (the idea that gender is nothing more than a performance) and all the chaotic opinions surrounding the idea. In some circles, that topic would be a conversation killer, but I'm glad I have the opportunity to discuss and think critically about some of the more taboo topics in society. I feel like I'm becoming a better human being because of it.

So, you're probably wondering how my dinner and my metaphor turned out. This is what I got:

I think perhaps a pastry metaphor should say something like, "Life is like pastry... it's crumbly, messy, can have holes, often needs to be repaired, is seldom perfect, and never turns out like you expected, BUT when all is said and done, if it looks like pastry and tastes like pastry, then damn it, it must be pastry, plain and simple.

Does that make any sense?

If not, I'll translate... it was a pain in the ass to make and wasn't anything to enter into a competition, but when all is said and done, it was wonderful, kinda like life. Yum! I think the recipe is a keeper and I just need some more practice (or if I'm not so adventurous at times, I'll buy frozen crusts).

Oh! and by the way... welcome to the first day of spring. It's drizzling rain at a 5 degrees Celcius that feels like -2. It seems more likely to snow than anything (although it won't) but what else is new around here? Confusing weather is Vancouver's recent claim to fame, right along with idiots who steal the Olympic flag right off of the gigantic flagpole at City Hall.

Pastry = Life

So I decided to embark on a new endeavor in the world of cooking. A place I had yet to go: pastry. It's amazing how something so very basic (it has very few ingredients), can be so very difficult. I've been trying for days now to make a homemade chicken pot pie, but for one reason or another, it got postponed. I found an easy recipe off of the recipe website I frequent, made sure I had all the ingredients, pre-cooked the chicken etc. This afternoon I followed the directions on the Crisco package to make the dough and things went well. Threw the dough (still in the bowl, but divided in two) into the fridge, and went off to see my doctor (I'll tell you about that later).

I got home, floured the counter and began to roll out the dough. I noticed that it was rather sticky and this didn't seem right to me, so I sprinkled some flour on it and kneaded it in quickly. Since it is pastry and not bread dough, I sort of remembered something about not handling it too much, so I tried to be quick. I rolled it out and went to go lay it over my casserole dish (I don't own a pie plate at this time), and discovered that not only was it not big enough, but that it was starting to fall apart.

Huh. Damn.

I put it back on the counter, ball it up, and quickly reflour my rolling pin and try again. Try it again and it's still doing wired things. Okay, maybe third time's a charm? Go through it again...Bingo! This time it worked. It layed out nicely and i press it against the sides trying to get all the air that somehow accumulated underneath (what the hell?). Okay, done.

I throw it into the oven and wait about fifteen minutes. I pull it out and ... wtf...

The crust has ballooned at the bottom and it seems to have slid half way into the dish. (Sigh) I try to press it back into place and it sort of stays. I throw it into the oven for another five minutes so it is a little less soggy.

I add the filling (which looks a big bowl of gloop with chicken and veggies- the gloop would be the condensed soup) and toss the upper crust on top of the gloop, cut some slits into the top so air can get through and throw it back into the oven...

It seems to me that there should be some metaphor about life and pastry, so while my combobled chicken pot pie cooks, I'm going to think on that a little and I'll get back to you; along with the results of this very interesting cooking experiment...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An extra long weekend...

So I pulled a Claire...
Well, I didn't know that she had stayed home sick earlier on the week until today. But I felt slightly ill on Thursday and then woke up Friday morning with a massive headache. I could barely move. So I called in sick.

It was so nice to sleep as long as I needed (I got up at 10am) and then just do as much or as little as I felt. I really don't think I could've sat through work anyway. But I did go to my 3:30 psyc class, which was, as usual, a lot of fun. What can I say... I love psyc!

Speaking of which, I think I've got my degree planning all figured out. When I decided to attempt honours psyc, I kinda missed the fact that I wouldn't have room to do a minor. But I think I really need some art classes to balance me out. So I worked it out and it looks like I can take a series of photography classes at UBC if I do about an extra semester. I can deal with that. It actually will work out pretty well (hopefully).

Ryan and I were talking , and he's totally on board with it, but I decided that once the wedding and honeymoon are over, I'm going to stop working and focus on school. I just can't do 3 classes and work as much as I am. But I need to work in order to afford to live. But once the wedding is over, I can devote my funds to living expenses, so it should all work out. I figure I'll probably stop working the summer of fall semester of 2008.

You know what is really weird? I was working on my degree planning and I have many classes mapped out for each semester from now until I graduate. The kicker? I should finish in April 2010! Crazy, isn't it? I mean, intellectually, I knew that I would finish school then, but I don;t think it really sunk in...

Well, I should get back to my tidying... I'm in one of my clean till I drop moods. This place is looking pretty good... I also have a friend picking me up for coffee and then Ryan's parents just called to let us know they're in town and ask if we wanted to get together for dinner. Guess I'm saving my homeade chicken pot pie recipe for tomorrow...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

You've got to be kidding me...

so you know those 6 drawings I had due on Tuesday? Yeah well, when we got to class we found out that she decided that she wasn't going to make us hand them in that day because we were also handing in our midterm portfolios and she doesn't have time to mark both.


all those hours stressing over those drawings and I could have spent some of the time working on my paper that I had to hand in today. As it was I wrote it all yesterday and edited it this morning. I went to class, lead my part of our seminar and handed it in. I have no idea how I`ll do on it.

2 down, 1 to go.

Just my psyc exam on Friday and it`ll be over... for now.

Also, after the beautiful day yesterday I thought we`d have more of the same today. Totally didn`t see it coming but I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. Strange... and here I was thinking we were almost in spring! Silly me...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Such a Soggy Saturday...

and I spent almost 4 hours at school drawing 2 of the 6 drawing I have due on Tesday. Now, I'm going to start working on a paper that I have due on Wednesday and sometime after that I will study for the midterm that I have coming up on Friday.

Welcome to Reading Break!!

...some break!!!

Oh well, guess I'll just have to suck it up and get on with it.

Oh, one thing did brighten my day... I came home from school to Ryan with a bouquet of flowers in his hand. You know, there are times when he can really surprise me... he did manage to get a big smile out of me...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Guess what....

Guess what, guess what, guess what!!!!

It's almost spring!!!

And how do I know that you might ask. Well, I have to tell you I saw the most lovely sight the other day. I went for a walk on Thursday on my lunch break and was walking down Pender Street where I came a cross a Japanese Plum tree all in bloom in glorious pink! Made my day and then some.

On other fronts, I have good news. 1 month after starting with my personal trainer, I have lost 4 lbs, converted 4% body fat into muscle and dropped my BMI a couple of points.

For the first time in months, I not only feel in control of my life, I feel almost...


Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm obsessed with You Tube!

For every 10 horrible videos on it there is one really great one so here are a couple I love...


(Pablo Francisco is scarily good at that...)

(And who says epic movies can't be funnny...)

And the verdict is...


Finally watched Little Misss sunshine on Friday. Totally funny!

Also saw the Barenaked Ladies in concert on Saturday. Three words... phenomenal, energetic and hilarious! They had Tomi Swick as their opening act and he was really good. I'd definitely be up to hearing more of him.

BNL put on a great concert. There were lots of jokes, including one about getting a replacement piece for BC Place Stadium Costco, since of course Vancouver won't allow Walmart in, Costco was the only logical choice.

One other interesting tidbit is that there is a huge environmental component to their tour in that they are working with different groups to off-set the envionmental impact of their tour by putting money into different projects and increasing awareness through their audiences. All I have to say to that is "good work".

Friday, January 26, 2007


Ah, blue sky. If I look across from my office at work and lean back, I can take in the beautiful sight of a bright sunny morning in downtown Vancouver. When I left for work this morning, it was dark and cold. By the time the bus got down to Granville and Broadway, it had changed. As we were coming down the hill towards the Granville Bridge, dawn had just broken and what little light there was, was being reflected off of the glass buildings in the downtown peninsula. Truly breathtaking.

Its been a week since I found out that my grandfather had died. I'm okay now, it just took me so completely by surprise. My dad called his mom and it seems that she understands that he can't leave the camp right now. Since my grandfather will be cremated, there's going to be a memorial in the spring after my dad gets back from Alberta; which works great for me because with any luck it'll be after exams and I can take a few days off. Maybe Ryan and I will drive up to Nelson. Who knows…

This last week has seen me reflecting quite a bit. For one, I told Claire that our new motto isn't working for me. I really need a new one. So we talked about resurrecting an old favourite (I momentarily considered "To hell with it" but somehow it isn't positive enough), but I still felt the need to find something refreshing and strong. As we talked I made a statement in exasperation, which Claire decided would be the perfect motto, and I agreed. Therefore our new motto is…

"I don't want to be a drama queen!" Because let's face it, drama and I are pretty tight these days.

Work and school are going pretty well. I decided yesterday to cut off a couple of hours from work because I've been having a really difficult time working a full day. By 3pm, I'm exhausted! Trying to keep it together until 4:30 every Thursday is such a struggle. So I decided to make the day a couple of hours shorter. That way, I can still go for my workout with my trainer and then go home and still have energy to do important things like make dinner, and oh, I don't know… study perhaps?

My workouts are going well. 5 sessions and three weeks later, I already feel stronger, and let's face it, much happier. I'm still struggling to recognize my boundaries and limitations before I cross them, but that will take more time.

At least time is something I do have.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

And January was going so well...

So on Friday afternoon before class I had written the really long blog entry only to have the computer screw up and erase it. Lovely. So here is roughly what I wrote:

So all week we had been having problems with our telephone line because Telus was adjusting our service. Suffice to say that some idiot at their head office in Calgary didn't flick the switch so had no line whatsoever.

So my Mom calls my cell phone on Friday morning. I was at work and I heard it ring in my purse, which was in my filing cabinet. Surprised to hear it (I had forgotten to turn it off the night before), I picked it up and saw that it was my Mom.

She had been trying to get a hold of me all morning at home and decided to try my cell. Turns out that she had gotten a call from my Grandma in Nelson telling her that my Grandfather (my dad's dad) had died.

He had gone in for hip surgery on Tuesday and it went pretty well. But later he went into cardiac arrest and then after stabilizing him, moved him to the ICU. I guess sometime late on Thursday, he went into arrest again and they couldn't do anything more. They are going to do an autopsy to confirm cause of death and then I guess we'll know what happened.

When I talked to my Mom that morning, she hadn't been able to get a hold of my Dad to let him know. But later that day, she finally did connect with him. He called his Mom, who was very understanding of the fact that he isn't able to leave the camp right now. But everything is okay. They are having my grandpa cremated and then there will be a memorial service in the spring when my Dad gets back. Which means that we'll all be able to go.

On Friday when I was writing out my blog I was so full of confusion and I think even anger. I mean, things had been going so well these last weeks and I was feeling content with the world. It would be nice for a change if I could go more than a couple of months without there being some big dramatic event or crisis.

I guess I never really considered how hard it is to be an optimist. It involves getting back up whenever you're knocked on your ass. But when your constantly knocked down, sometimes you don't even have a chance to get halfway back up before the next blow comes.

I guess in this recent case,according to the new motto, it was okay to be an optimist because I did get to cry later. But where does that leave a person the day after that?

Anyway, in other news, I am coming over to the island next weekend. I'm on the 9am ferry on Saturday and I go home Monday. If anyone is free and liked to get together, let me know.

Here's hoping these next days are better...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's a beautiful day...

in the neighbourhood... well at least it is in mine, I don't know about yours.

The sun is bright and warm, the snow is glistening on the ground (along with the crazy amounts of super slippery ice) and everyone seems to be in fairly high spirits. That is, if you ignore the fact that it's 0 degrees out but feels like -5 or colder. It was warmer and rather pleasant around noon but now is's just bloody cold. Even our house can't quite seem to warm up. If you walk past a bus stop, you'll notice everyone pressing their arms against their bodies and bouncing from one foot to another, or just plain pacing. I should know, that was me earlier.

But despite how cold it feels, I know it's far worse where my Dad is. He left on Wednesday to work at one of the larger oil rig camps as a kitchen manager. It's between Edmonton and Grande Prarie, about 40 clicks north of a place called Rainbow Lake. The place he's at has no name save that the camp is designated as "Camp 160". Anyway, last I heard, it was -18 there, which felt like -38.

I think I'm quite happy here in Vancouver, where I at least don't have to cover every bit of skin to prevent things falling off. I did that when I was in Ontario thank you very much and I'm really not interested in a repeat performance.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Year, New Start

Good bye 2006 and good riddance!

January 1st heralded a much anticipated event for me... a chance at a new start. I don't think anyone will disagree that last year wasn't one of the best for me; in fact it was quite the opposite for me.

But that is all behind me now.

On January 9th I had my first workout with my new personal trainer, Andy. All I can say about Andy is that he is fantastic! Not only does he really listen to me but he actually did some research on Fibromyalgia before creating a program for me.

Ryan's mom gave me a Pilates DVD set with a workout circle and a yoga mat for Christmas. I tested them out on Thursday and boy, was that interesting. Good workout, still feeling it this morning. My walking a lot more probably contributed just a bit to my slight stiffness

So with the fitness part well under control, I've also been working on eating better. Ryan and I are trying to cook a lot more from new recipes. I was getting really bored with the food we were eating out of well, laziness I guess.

I've been trying to also cut back on the amount of coffee I drink, but alas, I think it might be too much change too soon. I am after all a coffee addict. However, a plus is that I discovered that caffeine only contributed a small portion to the addiction, since I learned how much I like decaf.

So with a new year and many changes on the way I have some really good news...

I saw my doctor last week to get a refill on my prescription and get a check-up. We went through the whole pressing all my points bit and for the first time since I became ill, I didn't tear up in pain. Some of my points still are pretty tender, but far fewer than before. AND...

My doctor approved my dropping the dosage of medication I've been taking! 10 mg down, 20 more to go!!!

There is light at the end of the tunnel after all.

And to start this year off right, Claire and I have a yearly motto figured out:

"It doesn't hurt to be optimistic, you can always cry tomorrow" ~Unknown