Bring me back.

En route to a local children’s museum yesterday, I took note of a woman running. She was running against traffic of the busy residential road - the pavement still wet from overnight snowfall. I had view of the runner for less than a minute. But, within that minute, several thoughts passed through my tired brain:

She is crazy. She needs to be careful…I hope the drivers can see her.

That used to be me.

She is a runner…she needs to run…she probably runs this road all the time…good for her.

She must be doing a long run – her stride is methodical and her facial expression is one of determination.

That used to be me.

Will I return to my previous running days – the time when I felt out of order when I didn’t run?

We continue our drive as our daughters doze into a peaceful nap….the runner fades away in my rearview mirror.

The day zooms by.

No run outside for me today. No treadmill running today.

Soon enough the snow will melt away with the winter...and I will return to running the roads.

Bring me back. Please.


I live for today
I do not live for yesterday
For what is done is done
I do not live for tomorrow
For what will come will come
I live just for today
So I can always find the sun
I will always find a bit each day
If I live life one by one

I think I live in hell and it's frozen over

Can you tell I'm a little cranky about the weather? It's been an extremly cold January and February and I've developed a severe case of cabin fever, as well as a pretty nasty case of the sniffles.
It is currently -31 with wind-chill it feels like -41, are you freaking kidding me! On Monday it was forecast that it was going to be a great weekend with normal temperatures.  Normal for end of February is -10 or a bit warmer.  Now they say this lovely freeze your ass off in ten seconds weather is what we are actually going to get.  All the weather forecasters in Winnipeg have no idea what they are talking about.  Each and every day the forecast has consistently been that the next few days will be cold then it will warm up. Then the next day the warming “trend” is pushed back a day and the next day and the next day until finally it’s admitted that the whole week is going to be cold and windy.  Next week will warm up though.
 I think they simply want to give hope to the frostbitten masses that are sick and tired of the high wind-chill and numbing temperature.  As if Winnipeggers are going to jump off the Esplanade Riel in a mass suicide if the promise of warmer weather is not in our very near future.  Honestly I promise not to jump of the bridge if I’m told there are a few more weeks of winter.  Its ok I grew up here and I know our winters suck.
I hate this kind of cold. Normal cold I can handle I can still do stuff in normal cold, in fact there are a lot of winter sports and hobbies I enjoy.  This weather precludes all outdoor activities and we are consigned to indoor boredom and crappy tv.  I swear sometimes that there was just as much watchable tv when I was a kid with only 4 channels. Well really 3 because two were CBC, one French one English. There is only so much I can do indoors before I go completly stir crazy and I reached that point sometime ago.
The days when we can head outside without spending 15 minutes getting dressed to come in after 5 will end soon enough. Soon the snow we be melting the birds will start coming back and then we can all focus on the impending spring flood instead.

I thought today I would write about the picture found at the top of my blog page.  It was taken last July at a friend of my husband’s cabin. They had gotten together for a guys night of scotch and cigars and I had come out with the kids the next morning for a day of swimming.  That’s me fishing off the dock. My oldest daughter is kneeling beside me separating frozen minnows.  My little one is also on the dock just out of camera range running away from the minnows up to my husband sitting on the bank with the somewhat damp dog sleeping beside him. I picked this picture because it never fails to make me smile, it is a perfect moment frozen in time.  I see it and suddenly I can smell the fresh water, feel the warm breeze against my skin and hear the sounds of water lapping against the dock. It’s so rare to capture a moment like this not only in memory but on camera.  It brings back the feeling of contentment that comes from a happy and stress free day.
We had a lot of fun that day, not a single thing went wrong.  Even my little one finding a leech on her turned out well.  Normally she would have flipped, she is what you might call dramatic, but she stayed calm and I got to be proud of her for reacting with interest to see how it came off with salt instead of breaking out in tears.  We went for ice cream, had a BBQ and spent a lot of time in the lake.  It was a hot day and the water was nice and cooling.  We played a game of finding things on the bottom and trying to guess if it was a rock or clam before pulling it up to see.  My oldest found a clam at one point that stuck its foot (?) against her hand as she pulled it out of the water. Her squeal of alarm was hilarious as she tossed it back in. We laughed at the dog as he would go tearing off after the kids as they leapt off the dock then skid to a stop at the end refusing to jump in after them.  He would only walk into the water from the shore,  even after I “encouraged” him by throwing him in a few times. I threw the kids off the dock a few times as well and watched as they had a seaweed fight with their dad.  We spent a lot of that day laughing at and with each other.  
We ended the day fishing.  It was the first time I had been fishing in years and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it. The rhythmic peacefulness of casting and reeling your line is almost hypnotic.  We mostly just fed the fish but we had a lot of fun doing it.
I miss these types of days right now.  As we hunker down in what is beginning to feel like a never ending cold snap waiting for spring to arrive remembering days like this make it a little easier.  We will get back to days like this soon enough and amidst the sparrow sized mosquitoes will remember that winter isn’t so bad either.  

Fashion Faux Pas?

I am not what most people would call fashionable.  I don’t follow the fashion world I despise shopping and can never find anything I like.  I’m not a slob by any means and I do care about how I look but I wear what I like and what I think suits me, I pay no heed to what is “in or out”.  I’m sure there must be a semblance of style somewhere in the clothes I wear I’m just not entirely sure what it is.
Working with young kids the majority of my clothes are practical and casual, a pair of tennis shoes, jeans and a short sleeve shirt are my everyday basics.  I don’t tend to wear much if any makeup during the day and the only jewelry I wear regularly are my wedding rings and stud earrings. Although that does have a lot to do with a number of metal and cosmetic allergies I have.  Brings to mind an unfortunate episode with waterproof mascara and several weeks waiting for my eyelashes to grow back. I can only wear certain jewlery none of which is cheap and I don’t need a necklace worth a couple hundred dollars getting ripped off by an overzealous 3 year old. My hair is usually in a ponytail again due to the risk of having it ripped out by an overzealous 3 year old. When I go out however I always change into something a bit better and fix my hair and makeup, in short I make an effort.  To me going out any other way even dressed as I was for work which really isn’t that bad bothers me.
 So what this all boils down to is this; when the heck did sweatpants and a stained tank top become suitable for dinner out?  When I go to a nice restaurant or even a simple sit down restaurant I don’t like seeing someone walk by with the word juicy across their derriere.  It’s not becoming on anyone.  The funny thing I notice about most of the people dressed like this is they are usually girls in their teens and early twenties who also happen to be wearing enough makeup to decorate a herd of elephants. It’s clear by the level of makeup, accessories and the designer handbag draped over their shoulder that they think about how they look. So how in the world does it occur to them to pull a shirt from the hamper and throw on the nearest pair of sweats or god forbid pajama bottoms and go outside in public? 
Now I know fashion changes and I did some strange things as a teen and young adult that can only be described as interesting and even today not everything I wear is mainstream but it has always been clean and appropriate for the activity. To me wearing sweats to dinner out is like wearing jeans to a black tie affair; inappropriate. If sweats are now considered fashionable I’m quite content to be completely out of touch. 

A Pet tail

We were watching a family movie last night all cuddled up on the couch wrapped up in blankets.  The dog sees the cat curled up in my daughters lap with us and decides he wants in on the action.  Now he knows that he is not allowed on the couch but he does his best to sneak up.  He starts out with his chin on my knee and sucker that I am to those puppy eyes will acknowledge him and allow him to give me his version of a hug. He puts his front paws over my shoulders and cuddles his head under my chin while keeping his back paws on the floor. Technically at this point he’s not on the couch.  Then oh so slowly he pulls up one back paw then the other until all of a sudden I find him sitting in my lap with his happy grin looking extremely pleased with himself.  How he thinks I won’t notice that I suddenly can’t see the movie or that I now have 60 lbs of furball in my lap I don’t understand.  He’s so proud of himself that he made it onto my lap "unnoticed" that I can’t quite bring myself to kick him off at least until my legs start going numb.  He really is a sweetie but as I said he doesn’t quite qualify as a lap dog. 

Chase with his happy grin.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with great dogs who I remember very fondly. My husband on the other hand has always wanted a dog but had never really had one. His only experience of having a dog was one he had for a few days before it bit him in the face and a yappy maltese named Casey. In my book Casey did not qualify as a dog more of a loud little mop on legs whose sole purpose in life was to hump the leg of everyone it met.  I don't have anything against small dogs just the ones like Casey who would bite the hand that feeds them and then pee in the middle of your bed for good measure.  

We really enjoy having a dog in our house despite the fur balls, scratched floors and vet bills I can’t imagine a home without him. The friday we moved into the house we currently live in we decided to visit the Humane Society for a look. We came home with a 4 month old golden retriever cross. It wasn't really the time for a dog as our house was torn apart from renovations but I like to think it was fate.  We fell in love with him the moment we saw him and he with us.

Hey Ho!

Time for Festival Du Voyageur!  Opening night, I can hardly wait. For anyone who doesn’t know what festival du voyageur is it is a celebration of the voyageur, or fur trader and the history of the French-Canadian culture. It’s a well loved event in Winnipeg and breaks up the last stretch of winter with a bit of fun.  There is some really great entertainment, a lot of activities to watch or join in on and interesting things to see.
I love the atmosphere of festival it feels exciting and full of life. Listening to a good old fashioned jig being played you can’t help but smile. It makes you want to move your feet and clap along.  I have been known to drag others onto the dance floor for a quick spin, regardless of their dancing abilities, or lack thereof.  The tents are a warm and comfortable break between the many not so warm outdoor activities.
Walking into Fort Gibraltar where festival is held is like stepping into the past.  It is a reconstruction of the original Fort built as true to the era of the voyageur as possible.  The buildings were all built using traditional methods, and it is quite realistic. There are volunteers everywhere you look dressed up acting as characters from the early 1800’s.  It is a sea of red toques, woven sashes, HBC jackets, muskets and leather boots.
The food although not as good as my Grand mere made is traditional French foods.  Split-pea soup and tourtiere is a great winter meal. Maple syrup taffy is a well loved treat for the kids not to mention quite the instant sugar high and something my diabetic husband needs to stay far away from.  I love walking into one of the “trading posts” to the smell of the food mixed with the smell of woodchips covering the floor.  
I’m getting hungry. Think I’ll go dig up my sash so I’m all set to go once this weekend starts. See you Tuesday and remember to Célèbre la Joie De Vivre! (Celebrate the joy of life)

Getting fired up

Reading the news this morning I came across a story about a fire which may have been intentionally set in a warming hut made of hay for ice skating at The Forks.  Now I’m not trying to jump to conclusions but what the frick? Seriously now, why? It’s these types of stories that really get my blood boiling. How does someone even think something like that is a good idea? It’s disappointing to feel such shame in humankind and realize people are capable of destroying others hard work like that.
I suppose it is possible the fire was unintentional perhaps a careless smoker not realizing hay is just a little bit flammable.  That really doesn’t sound much better but it would be easier to believe someone may just be an idiot versus someone intentionally being that disrespectful of others.
I’m disappointed we hadn’t gone to see the huts earlier; we were going to check them out this weekend. I realized that they were open just as Winnipeg hit its yearly cold snap so we put off going. This hut was part of an international art and architecture competition with over 130 entries.  It was one of five winning contributions from a team in New York named hay(v)en hut.   I’m sure it was interesting and I wish I’d seen it.

A short rambling on kids

Alright I seem to have run out of time today but because I made a commitment to myself to write something everyday I’m going to write just a quick blurb.  After all what would that teach my kids if I didn’t stick to my commitments?
Speaking of kids, I was talking to a friend this morning that has an almost 4 yr old and a 9 month old.  She expressed how much she was looking forward to the days when her kids will be older and independent, so she could have more time. I may have scared her because I burst out laughing. 

My girls are now 11 and 6 years old and their needs may no longer come in the middle of the night as often but I certainly spend as much time parenting now as I did then.   The challenges and rewards have changed but life hasn’t slowed down in the least. Thanks to their many activities combined with homework, playdates, housework, and errands I seem to have very few moments for me during my day. I'm up at 7 and don't stop doing one thing after another until heading to bed sometime around midnight.
I think also your perspective on parenting changes as you enter each stage. The worst stage is always the one you are experiencing at that moment.  I remember being up in the middle of the night crying right along with my girls a few times when they were infants wishing they would start sleeping through the night.  Eventually I came to miss those predawn feedings when it was just the two of us.  I remember wishing they could tell me what was wrong. Then just as quickly wishing they would just STOP talking. I remember being excited for them to go to school only to realize how much I missed them when they were gone.  As I teach my youngest to be a good reader I look at my oldest and think how I miss the days when she enjoyed me reading to her. 
I look forward to each stage of my girls lives and I know I will miss each one when it is done. 

Well I really don't have any time left so until tomorrow

Morning Journeys

Where we live is one of the most naturally beautiful areas of Winnipeg.  We live in the community of Charleswood which is a unique suburb which feels more rural then urban.  The community at large seems to put a premium on outdoor life and tends to be populated with rather down to earth people.   The yards are large and open, we have ditches rather than sidewalks and some streets remain unpaved gravel.  We are right on the edge of Charleswood and our street is bordered by the Assiniboine forest.   There are only homes along the west side and forest on the east, it is an amazing view. 

This morning is particularly nice, you can feel the weather changing and it is quite warm for a February day. In Winnipeg we treasure each day that shows a hint of the spring to come, the days leading up to spring are often interrupted by bouts of winter cold so we enjoy each nice day as fully as possible. 

Every morning I walk our dog, Chase, through the Assiniboine forest.  It is a very peaceful and gorgeous time of day.  The sun is resplendent hanging just over the horizon providing everything with an ethereal glow.  The only sounds are the birds and the soft crunch of my footfalls on the packed snow. There is a faint buzz of cars but the sound simply blends in and reminds me of the sound of the lake and the waves in the distance.

 I often hear the hoot of a great horned owl who lives somewhere near the path I walk each morning.  It’s a unique sound and I always try to catch a glimpse of him.  He has awfully good camouflage and is pretty hard to spot.  More often than not I will see a few deer foraging for food and they will watch me as I approach before eventually deciding to run off with a flick of their ears.  It is amazing how softly they move through the trees considering their size.

I love my morning walks even when we are experiencing a bitter cold snap.  There isn’t a better way to wake up then to the sounds and sights of nature.  Each morning I walk away from our busy lives for a few moments and take in a deep breath of fresh air and am able to prepare for the day ahead.  It is a whole new world when I walk through that first arch of trees. I know when I return from that world that it is never far away and at any time I can go back and feel renewed once again.   

Valentine's day

Well I’m having a cranky morning. Woke up at about 4 am last night and never really got back to sleep as my husband had stolen the blankets and I was frozen solid.  Thanks dear, happy Valentine’s Day. 
Well I can’t I say I’m a great lover of Valentine’s Day anyways.  Now don’t get me wrong I’m happy to say I have a Valentine who loves me every day of the year and I don’t mind hearing it today or any other day.  I enjoy Valentine’s to some extent now, although mostly through my children and the joy they find in the day. For my husband and me it’s not very important. We don’t need a special day to express our love.
I don’t have particularly fond memories of Valentine’s Day as a child which may be why I don't feel I particularly care for the day. I won’t get into the why or why nots but I wasn’t a popular child in school and the cards I did receive were generally only from the kids whose Mothers insisted their child give a card to everyone.  At first it was always a moment of relief that I received some but it would quickly turn to embarrasment as i overheard the comment "My mom made me".  A small part of me always wanted to believe that a few were honestly given and some probably were but it is hard to remain objective as a small child and I don’t think I ever really believed it. 
Nowadays it is standard practice that if you participate in Valentine’s Day to give a valentine to everyone. I do think it’s a good policy and even if that were not standard practice my children would do so.  Even though I didn't recognize it at the time recieving those cards which may or may not have been mandatory did make a difference to me. Just like the mothers from my school days I want to teach my children that everyone deserves a bit of love and kindness.
So happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Need something to get you in the Valentine's Day mood?

Luther Vandross's voice is arguably one of the most soothing (and sexiest) voices ever. I think it is the smoothest of all time and I am a huge fan of his music. How can you not be?

By being a "fan" of Luther on Facebook, I learned his voice was named as one of the 50 greatest voices by National Public Radio (NPR). They call his voice The Velvet Voice. Check out this great tribute from NPR here.

Are you a Luther fan? Listen to one or two of his love ballards and you will be wishing your Valentine was with you! Ha! Some of my favorites:


A House is Not a Home

Dance with my Father

Here and Now

Power Of Love

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Saturday morning discussions.

Coversations between my (not yet 4 year old) daughters have become quite interesting as of late. They were tallking about marriage (should I be afraid?) this morning when it sort of turned into a Who's on First routine.

Allie: I'm going to marry JJ.

Anna: I'm going to marry T.

Allie: No, Anna. You cannot marry T. T is not in your classroom.

Anna (to Allie): I'm going to marry someone in your class.

Emily (to Anna): You are going to marry someone in your class?

Anna (pointing at Allie): No. I'm going to marry someone in her class.

Allie: No, Anna. You have to marry someone in your own class.

In all seriousness, I am amazed at what they talk about - their imaginations are amazing at this age!

The first one.

Oh how I hate the ability to highlight and delete.  I’ve been thinking of starting a blog and have written out my first post a few times already.  Then I highlight and delete or close the window and choose don’t save.  WTF? Why do I do that? 
See I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I love writing, always have always will.  Only there is a bit of a problem, I can’t seem to share my writings.  I’ve never willingly shared my writing and because of that I find I am writing less and less over time.  Naively I thought when I was younger that being an adult would give me the confidence I needed to write and share my work.  Instead I am slowly and effectively destroying my chances of every fulfilling my dream of being a published author. 
I started realizing I was really heading in the wrong direction when about 3 years back we moved to a new home and I threw out all of my notebooks from when I was young.  All of my stories and poems are gone.  I regretted it almost instantly.  Why did I do it? Well they were crap I thought, I don’t really know if they were, and I guess now I will never really know. 
Nowadays when I do come up with an idea for a story I don’t get very far.  I end up writing out a few chapters decide I’m just being silly and delete the file.   A few months later I think about it again and realize that it may not have been such a bad idea but then I can’t quite remember the story and give up on it all over again.  Maybe I should go back to writing with pen and paper?  I suspect though that I still wouldn’t be able to share it or resist the temptation to toss it. 
I’m beginning to realize I may have a confidence problem, AKA I’m a chicken shit.
I think, and I may be wrong here, that if I get back to writing everyday and find a way to share my stories without committing to sharing with those who know me and might *gasp* tell me what they think I may start moving forward with this dream of mine.  Maybe I will eventually be able and willing to share with those who know me.
 I’ve heard a few times as I’m sure you, supposed reader have also heard is that once something is on the internet there is no taking it back. So I am proposing to myself based on the no take backs theory that I write something to share each day on this blog so that I can’t take it back.
What I am going to do is write a little blurb each day minus weekends and holidays.  It may be a short commentary expounding upon a stray thought or rehashing a moment of life, perhaps even a poem here and there as long as it’s something.  Or so I propose.  I realize that it is possible in fact quite likely that no one will ever read the damn thing or care if they do but by knowing I have something I’ve written out there available to the world I hope to learn some confidence or at the very least learn something about myself.  Who knows maybe I will eventually look forward to hearing what others think of my writing.  I’m finding as I reach the end of what will be my first blog post that I’m excited to start this experiment in writing.
Only time will tell. Well that and if I ever bloody post something.  Highlight and delete? Nah think I’ll post this one… we go.   See you on Monday.

Shooting Three's.

It’s back. The history. The excitement. The attention. The Boston Celtics are in the forefront once again with a dominant starting five and a team experienced, yet speckled with talented youth.

All eyes will be on Mr. Ray Allen tonight as he attempts to tie, and most likely surpass, Reggie Miller’s record of 2,560 career three-pointers. Reports are that Reggie will be in attendance at tonight’s TD Garden face-off between the two historic giant teams – Lakers vs. Celts.

As they say, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Homework - Telling a Story Through Photos

Homework - First Walk Cycle + New stuff

Did my best with it. I still have to fix a few things. Enjoy.

BTW I shot a video of my sketchbook, you can see some of my drawings there, check it out

And here are some new designs of 'Redix' (One of my old characters) Hope you like it

14?? Me?! Gee thanks, it's totally worth a post!

So I took my little sister to school today, she's in Junior high, and big brother/sisters/parents are not allowed to enter the school. We live in a town were there's a guard at each school, they usually stand or sit right at the school's main entrance and they make sure that only students get in, anyways, so my sis and I wanted to have some fun, so I went to her: "let's see if the guard thinks that I'm a student at your school" and he actually let us both in. I was shocked, I thought to myself: "Oh well, maybe he wasn't looking", now the guard was around 25-30 years old, and the students at that school are around 12-15 years old, no more than 14-15. Now, it was really easy to get into her school with her, but getting out wasn't easy at all! LOL after I said goodbye to my sis I went out of the main entrance and the guard was really mad at me he thought that I was one of the students, he went: "Where do you think you're going?!" he was REALLY angry with me, he thought that I was trying to skip school LOL so I said to him: "What do you mean?" and he asked me again: "What do you think you're doing? Where do you think you're going?!" and I went: "Uhhh, yeah, I just brought my sis here, I'm not a student or anything" LOL and then he went: "You're not a student?" lol it was totally funny, I'm used to people thinking I'm 17-18 all the time, but 14-15 is crazy!

Here's some AnimationGirl art

Worth a post

So, I really like Avril Lavigne's music and style. I started listening to her music back in 2003, when I was 14, funny, it seems like it's been ages since then but it was only a few years ago, she just started with her career back then and I liked her since the very beginning, she's one of my fav musicians ever. I really like her new song and I'm waiting for the new album to come out. She's worth a post, she rocks. I think she's the most beautiful woman on earth.

Here's a link to her new song -

Avril Lavigne - What The Hell