Writing Challenge #3

Write about an early memory as an observer.
It is a dark and stormy winter’s night, sometime ago in this small town the power went out and now sitting in front of a warm and lit fireplace a young family gathers to tell stories. The scent of burning wood drifts on the warm air, the fire pops and crackles while light flickers around them. 
On a fluffy white rug beside the hearth is a father sitting cross-legged with his son and daughter facing him. The brother and sister lay on their stomachs feet in the air and chins propped in hand enthralled by the deep timbre of their father’s voice.  Their mother is sitting nearby watching as they listen.
He is telling a story of his own creation called The Flying Squirrel. It is about a family of squirrels, a family of 4 just like the one gathered around the fire with a mother, father, brother and sister.
There is Mama Squirrel, Papa Squirrel and their children Renny and Penny.  Besides being a family of talking squirrels they seem to be quite a normal squirrel family who spend the year searching for food and supplies to survive the cold winter months. 
The story is about Renny and Penny squirrel who are often left on their own to play while Mama and Papa search for winter supplies.  Mama and Papa tell their children to stay inside the treetop nest but being on their own Renny and Penny eventually leave the nest in search of something fun. 
They make an amazing discovery when Renny falls from a high branch to what he and Penny are certain will be his untimely death.  Instead they discover that Renny is a flying squirrel and can soar from treetop to treetop safely.
They eventually confess to Mama and Papa squirrel that they have left the nest and about this amazing gift. In the end as in all good children’s stories everything works out and their squirrel lives are even better after discovering Renny can fly.
When the last story of the night is told the children sleepily make their way to their warm beds after hugs and kisses to dream of flying squirrels and running along from tree branch to tree branch.

I was not quite 3 years old when this happened. It is a moment that I can close my eyes and instantly be transported back in time to and can picture with perfect clarity.  I remember the warm and secure feeling I had and how everything was so very perfect at that moment.
This is my first really solid memory and one I know is an actual memory and not something I heard about as an older child as it wasn’t until many years later talking about telling stories that I told my Dad about this moment.  Until I described it he and my Mom had forgotten all about it.  
Out of all the stories my Dad made up The Flying Squirrel was by far my favorite and I now tell the story to my own children who adore it as much as I once did.  It is thanks in large part to my Dad and this memory that I find such joy in making up stories and writing.

Made It

Today’s the day the teddy bear’s have their picnic……
Ok not really yesterday was the day of the children's hospital annual teddy bear picnic and surprise, surprise we actually went.  I believe this is only the 2nd possibly 3rd time we have gone even though every year since E was about 2 years old we have been saying we should go.
We’re talking about ten years of excuses here.
Somehow it always ends up forgotten about or not remembered until the very last minute and by then other plans have been made. The teddy bear picnic has also had the unfortunate likelihood of terrible weather and I tend to avoid pneumonia inducing situations.
Every single time it happens, I’m sure you can guess, what we always say is “there’s always next year” which will turn into next year and next year and next year.
Like the annual gathering of garter snakes at the Narcisse snake dens we missed in the past few weeks.  Now that one is a little hard to excuse as there are several weeks in which we could go and we really did have every intention of going this year.
I know doesn’t sound like that much fun but I take great pleasure grossing out my girls picking up things like frogs and bugs so imagine what picking up a snake might do.
Next year this time for sure.
I’m a rather flexible planner when it comes to what we do on weekends. The only criteria is we do it together as a family and make the most out of our free time so really it’s not that big a deal, we always end up having fun. 
I know if I was really set on attending an annual event we would make it so it’s not really a big deal. We always remember the important ones. My social calendar or more accurately the kid’s social calendar is too busy to worry about what they may or may not be missing.

Monkey see, Monkey do

Crap, my oldest and very beautiful daughter has recently begun to complain about certain aspects of how she looks.  I’m not sure if they are entirely genuine complaints or if it is simply a need for some reassurance and I suppose it is natural to have some complaints as she becomes a teen after all ‘tis the age of discontent.
My biggest issue with this however is that I have just realized where her complaints are coming from, they come from me.  They quite clearly stem from my own insecurities, her complaints are the same ones she has heard from me or heard once bothered me and it makes me feel terrible.
After commiserating with fellow mothers about the pressures put on girls these days and how hard it is to keep them from being affected by the countless judgments about looks facing them in newsstands or on TV every day to hear my own complaints mirrored back sucks.
Overall I think I have a fairly good image of myself and I don’t complain about many things but I remember how much these same things bothered me starting at just about the same age she is now.
Her whole life she has heard about how much she looks like me, which she does, so it’s not entirely surprising that my own issues reflect so strongly on her no matter how much I wish they didn’t.
I don’t think anyone really believes themselves perfect (even those that act as if they do) and I haven’t heard anything particularly alarming about her self-image so I probably shouldn’t be too worried but oh how I wish I wasn’t part of the problem.
I try my best to focus on just being healthy and enjoying life and for the most part I’m pretty good about it.  I know I’m always going to have a few things I dislike, really who doesn’t, but I’ve come to terms with them and learnt ways to deal with those issues, or at least avoid them.  Hence the almost 20 years of everyday contact wear.
As long as she makes it through her own teen years able to do the same and still see herself in a positive way I guess I can live with it. I’ll just have to try not to complain about myself and to remind her that I think she is beautiful more often.  Even if she thinks I only say it because I’m her mom and I “have” to.    

Picture Day #8

The Bridge Drive-In, one of Winnipegs most loved Ice Cream shops which first opened in 1957. On the banks of the Red River with the Elm Park Bridge adjacent it is the perfect place to have a unique creamy ice cream concoction and enjoy a peaceful stroll across the bridge. 






My Online Portfolio - Official Website

It took me some time but I finally did it! Check it out http://www.wix.com/einavderi/portfolio

NHL

Winnipeg is once again full of reports about a possible return of the NHL to Winnipeg.  It’s really nothing new talk of an NHL return has regularly made its way into the news since the demise of the Winnipeg Jets.
These reports would see Winnipeg become home to the current Atlanta Thrashers. It certainly seems more likely than not with every news agency in Winnipeg reporting it as a “done deal”.
What I don’t quite understand however is the devotion some fans have dedicated to bringing back not only the NHL but specifically the Winnipeg Jets.
The love of the Jets may still be alive and well but the Jets themselves are not.  They have been gone now for 16 seasons, very few players from that era are still playing and only one player remains with the original franchise that left Winnipeg all those years ago.  
The glory days of Bobby Hull and Dale Hawerchuck are long gone, even the old barn, home of the Jets is gone. Any NHL franchise that comes to Winnipeg will simply not be the same.
If Winnipeg does get a new franchise it should be an entirely fresh start, it’s a new arena and a new team why not a new beginning and a name to go with it.
It isn’t that I disliked the Jets I still proudly wear my Jets hat, I cheered them on over the years and I was certainly disappointed to see them go, but it has been a long time. I’m happy to simply remember the best of them and leave the rest behind.
Don’t get me wrong I would love to see an NHL team in Winnipeg, even if for no other reason than to see another Canadian team in the league and have a home team to root for but I suppose I'm simply not a big enough hockey fan to be looking forward to NHL ticket pricing.
I do watch the playoffs (great game last night) and you can bet I was screaming right along with the rest of Canada when Crosby made that already famous Olympic goal but 1 NHL ticket for the price of 4 AHL tickets doesn't compute well.
Whether a return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg is going to happen or not we’ll see in the next few days. If it does I suppose I will have to cheer on the new home team but I’m sticking with the Canucks for playoffs. Face it new team or not Winnipeg isn't likely to see playoff time in the near future either way.  

Writing Challenge #2





Write the beginning of a story using the starting line: You thought dragons didn’t exist







You thought dragons didn’t exist, but I have proof and every year for 4 weeks in the summer my sister and I live with one.  She has long red claws, smoky breath, evil green eyes and a downright nasty disposition.  I’m speaking of course about my great Aunt Myra, although I can’t imagine what’s so great about her.

I will never understand how my normally loving and kind parents think that sending us to stay in this smoky and dark cavern of evil is a good idea. My Mother has even managed to convince herself that we have fun.

I’ve tried to tell her we don’t but no matter how strongly I object she doesn’t believe me. Ally doesn’t think Aunt Myra is a dragon either but she’s just a girl and besides I know better.

I know she's a dragon because of something I saw one night last summer, it was just one week before it was time for us to go home.  My suspicion thatAunt Myra was a dragon in disguise was confirmed, now I KNOW what she is.   

Ally and I had been sent to bed early because Aunt Myra was having guests over but I wasn’t tired and besides I had to see what in the world they could be doing in the garden on such a windy night with a storm on the way.  

As soon as Ally had drifted off I snuck out of bed and made my way across the bedroom we share every summer and down the dark winding staircase.  I crept my way over the cold stone floor of the kitchen to the dark window which faced the garden and slowly pulled myself up to peek over the sill.

I saw………………
  

This prompt brought to mind the wonderfully imaginative and sometimes suspicious nature of a little boy. I leave it to you to decide if what he saw through the kitchen window was proof his great Aunt Myra really was a dragon or if it was something he misconstrued to fit his theory.  

A piece of love

E has managed to break two backpacks beyond use this school year.  This time I decided I wasn’t going to buy a new one so close to the end of the year and would just dig out an old one.  Both my husband and I used to take backpacks to work so I knew we had some floating around.
She had running club early this morning and I like to make sure she has everything ready to go the night before when she needs to be out of the house early.   So at 10 o’clock last night I found myself in our storage room searching out one of these bags for her to use.
I found one and to my absolute delight something I haven’t seen in many years inside of it; my baby blanket.
Now I knew I had it somewhere but it is one of those things that you don’t truly remember having or think of unless you find it.  My MaMere made it for me, my mother’s mom and a woman I remember very fondly.
I went from grumbling and cursing under my breath wishing I was anywhere but digging through the storage room to standing there with a smile on my face and happy memories floating through my head.
I don’t remember using the blanket but I’ve seen it in pictures and know where it comes from. It smells a little musty, the white isn’t quite as white, the pink not so bright and it has come apart in several places but there is something undeniably special about it.
It was made with love and somehow after all these years it remains silky soft, it is a reminder, a symbol, of a person whom I loved and who loved me in return. She may no longer be here but she left some very important things behind for the people who will always carry a piece of her with them, for me this is one of them.  

ARG! Cartoon Studios - Internship Update


I can't believe it's almost been a month since I started my internship at ARG! Cartoon Studios. I'm having a lot of fun working on different projects. I just finished creating backgrounds for an animated short that is going to be aired on TV, I believe it's going to be aired in the Colorado area. I'm super excited because I'm going to get some screen credits so it's pretty awesome. I'd like to thank Mr. Artie Romero and Mr. Woodrow Martin for guiding me and helping me through the process of creating these backgrounds. Also, I'm gonna start doing some 2D animations for them, I'm very excited about all that!

Picture Day #7

English Gardens



Mother's Day Weekend

This post is a bit tardy in that Mother’s Day was a week and a half ago. But our daughters' cuteness factor does not diminish because of my tardiness, does it?

See Sarah’s post for detail on how we spent Mother’s Day. On Saturday, I took the girls to my mother's house for a visit - the girls had a blast! Here are a few highlights from both days:


Children's Garden in the Park

The Assiniboine Park is the largest park in Winnipeg and includes a number of points of interest and is also home to the Winnipeg zoo.  There have been updates throughout different areas of the park over the years but one area has remained somewhat dreary and kind of sad.
This area has carried the implausible title of ‘family area’ containing nothing more than a number of picnic tables and several sets of rusty and squeaky swings.  It had become an area seldom used and even less enjoyed.  
For a little over a year now construction has been ongoing to completely over hall this section of the park.  This area will now be home to a nature park, large playground and family centre.  This project has also included a huge expansion of the duck pond. 
The newly expanded duck pond was open for skating this winter and it is a lovely improvment.  With the indoor area built 4 or 5 years ago right next to the pond we find it to be one of the best skating areas in the city. 
We spend a fair amount of time at the park and so I have walked past this new area many times and although it is quite hidden by surrounding trees it appears to be quite a novel design and a fun looking space.  
The design seems quite well attuned to the perspective of a child and from what I could see beyond all the construction fencing and the vantage point I took these pictures from (where I probably wasn't suppossed to be) it seems to include many different elements. I could see areas for water and sand play, a giant chess board, and many different things to climb on.
There is also a large section with some wonderful looking living sculptures and creative plantings quite aptly named the Children's Garden.  The entry to this section is a wonderfully designed doorway reminescent of Alice in Wonderland and opens up to the rest of the Family section.
It will be first open to the public this Friday with the official grand opening taking place on Saturday between 10 am and 2 pm. A group of us is planning on checking it out this weekend and exploring this great addition to the park. 

Writing Challenge #1

In exactly 50 words use all five of the required words:

Mailbox
Outlaw
Train
Reply
Collectively

We agreed collectively that dropping our reply in a mailbox wasn’t personal enough.   We would take the train and deliver our message in person.  We probably should have asked his messenger for the location of the hideout before we shot him. As an outlaw he would be hard to find.
I chose this one to start with as I know I can be a little long winded and I thought it would be simple enough to do.  Was a bit harder than I thought to hit exactly 50 words and make sense all at once.

Garden time

I am very happy to say I’ve begun planting in the garden this weekend.  Not very much as I still have to admit to a chance of frost overnights but I love when planting begins, it really seems to mark the beginning of truly summery weather and lots of outside time.
A lot of the “summer” things have been out for a few weeks now, the trampoline, gazebo and deck furniture but we haven’t yet been able to really use them and to begin planting was out of the question.  Being overanxious just leads to weeks spent trying to force frost damaged plants to come back to life.
Just like being overanxious led to all our summer things being coated in 2 inches of snow the weekend after setting everything up.
I do actually enjoy gardening; I could do without weeds or the never ending grass poking through the brick border or the inability to get my nails clean or the constant fight to keep the deer away.  Ok maybe it’s actually the results not so much as the act but one leads to the other so…….I like parts of gardening.
Sitting in the gazebo with a book wouldn’t be the same without the scent of freshly turned earth and flowers on the air. To see the bright vibrant colors of healthy and thriving plant life is more than enough to make up for the not so pleasant gardening points.
I also tend to take a bit of perverse pleasure tricking the deer into leaving my garden alone.  
I’ve really been looking forward to filling two large planters I made late last year as I never saw what they looked like filled and with flowers.  It was simply too late in the year to plant in them when I first made them.
I’m very happy with how they turned out and I like how they look in front of the garage.  It was a perfect garden weekend and a good indication of a very bloomy summer.
 

How is Your Running Form?

I am well aware that individual running form, just like a batting stance and a tennis serve, is going to vary by individual. However, there are specific things all runners can focus on to make their runs more efficient and enjoyable. Here are a few simple suggestions I have picked up over the years:

- Run erect – many runners, especially when weary, tend to lean their upper body forward. Keep your spine straight!

- Minimize upper body movement, especially the arms! Arms should be bent at the elbow with the forearms parallel to the ground.

- Imagine your lower body as a racing horse and our upper body as the jockey. Your legs should be doing the work. Your upper body is just along for the ride!

- Stay as loose as possible. Keep your shoulders dropped, not hunched up and do not clench your hands into fists – instead, imagine you are carrying a potato chip between your thumb and index finger.

Run Strong.

Flood 2011

Well this week has been all about the flood, water levels are still rising and a large number of homes and cottages are still at risk.  It is quite likely that my husband and I’s anniversary weekend will be spent helping sandbag.

Courtesy Manitobaphotos.com
Hwy 18 in Brandon, MB

This year is unlike any other as it is not the Red river but the Assiniboine river threatning to spill it's banks entirely. I do not recall, nor can anyone else I know recall, this level of flooding along the Assiniboine River.  It is being called a 1 in 300 year flood.  

Courtesy of Manitobaphotos.com
Assiniboine River - Brandon, MB

The cities and towns near Brandon and Portage La Prairie have already been forced to evacuate a number of homes and from pictures coming out of the region the water levels are incredibly high.
The province is proposing a risky intentional breach of the Assiniboine’s dike, so homes that weren’t expecting any problems are now suddenly at the highest risk.  The province knows this breach will flood some homes that weren’t expected to be at risk but it is considered a better alternative then ten times that number of homes, floating away in the case of an accidental breach.  
I understand the concept of sacrificing the few for the many but let us face it these things don’t always go as planned.  Trying to control this amount of water, about equal to the flow of Niagara Falls apparently, may not be so simple.  
The province obviously knows the results may not be as expected as they keep pushing the time line back in hopes that it won’t have to be done at all.  Currently the province says they will breach the dike Saturday morning releasing water from the Assiniboine River into farm land which will then make its way into the La Salle river basin.
De-stabilizing a dike that has stood for decades may have results they don’t intend and it is conceivable that they will not be able to control the water flow.  I realize at this point the province really doesn’t have many choices left the Portage Diversion is currently being pushed far beyond design capabilities and simply cannot handle more water nor can the bank of the Assiniboine River and the water is still rising.

Courtesy of Manitobaphotos.com
Portage River Diversion

The La Salle River has many communities, farmers and hutterite colonies along it’s winding path which are now in a panic to be protected. We do have friends along the La Salle River as well as my parents, any help we can give them we will. I’m hoping for the best but will be helping to prepare for the worst. My thoughts and prayers are with all those whose farms, towns and homes are at risk.

Picture Day #6

A favorite winter or gloomy day excursion we regularly make is to the Assinibonne Park Conservatory.  There is nothing quite like the scent of damp soil mixed with the sweetness of flowers in bloom.






Re-set

I originally chose the name a written experiment because that’s really what this was. It was an experiment in writing, an experiment to see what if any effect it had on my writing.  I never expected this to become something I enjoy doing or something I would want to continue.  
My only real goal was to see if I could rediscover the joy I get from writing that I thought I had lost and begin to willingly sharing my writing with others.
I realize now I never stopped enjoying writing and I very quickly began to actively share my daily ramblings with family and friends as well as whoever happened to stumble upon it.
I’m finding benefits to blogging and randomness, however I now want to try and get more from it, find new challenges and organize it a little better.  
I am going to step out of what has become a comfortable rambling on things and experiences around me and try out something new.  I’m going to break the week into separate days with separate goals
Each Tuesday will be a writing challenge found randomly from other blogs and writing websites, Wednesday will be about something happening in or around Winnipeg, Thursday will remain as picture day and Monday/Friday will remain random ramblings.
So far I have a pretty varied list of challenges to try out but If anyone has any suggestions for Challenge Tuesdays  they would like to see me try let me know and I promise to at least give it a shot. 

A feel good kind of day.

Today is my birthday and I guess I could have posted a self indulgent post about my life, but I am a sucker for “feel good” stories, so I decided to share a feel good story instead.

Preface: I went to the Red Sox – Minnesota Twins (or Twinkies as I have heard them referred to as) game last night at Fenway Park. And, during last night’s game, I got to see Jonathan Papelbon, arguably the best closer in baseball, pitch. Because of his pitching style and personality while on the mound, “Pap” can come across as a tough guy.

The following story was retrieved from boston.com earlier today:

Papelbon also does long relief (by Kevin Cullen)

Patrick Mahoney, a master’s student at the University of New Hampshire, was cycling home last October when a car knocked him off his bike. He hit his head and it was bad.

Don and Mary Mahoney were home in New Jersey when they got the call: Their son was in a coma. They dropped everything and headed up to Boston, where Pat was fighting for his life at Massachusetts General Hospital.

One of Mary’s oldest friends, Mary Mallon, heard about the accident and called her cousin, a priest in Mississippi. His name is the Rev. Tommy Conway, and Mary Mallon asked him if he remembered that couple from New Jersey he had met at a cookout years ago. Father Tommy has a memory like an elephant, and he described them head to toe.
“Well,’’ Mary Mallon said, “I want you to pray for their son, Patrick, because he’s in a bad way.’’

“Where is he in hospital?’’ Father Tommy asked.

“Boston,’’ Mary Mallon said.

“Where are his parents staying?’’ Father Tommy asked.

When he heard they were staying at a hotel, Father Tommy said, “That won’t do.’’ He hung up, and before he said a prayer for Patrick Mahoney he made a phone call for Don and Mary Mahoney. He called Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox closer, one of his parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas in Hattiesburg. Father Tommy baptized Jonathan and Ashley Papelbon’s kids, and he asked a question to which he already knew the answer.

“It was the offseason, Jonathan and Ashley were here in Mississippi, and so I knew their place in Boston was empty,’’ Father Tommy Conway said. “As soon as I explained the situation to Jonathan, he said straight away, ‘They can use our place.’ I never got the question out. Jonathan beat me to it. Which, knowing him, is what I expected.’’

That was the easy part. The hard part was getting Don and Mary Mahoney to take up the offer.

“They were very reluctant; they felt they were imposing,’’ Father Tommy said. “But Jonathan and Ashley insisted. They didn’t want the Mahoneys to go broke taking care of their son. Jonathan and Ashley are parents, and they knew if they were in the same situation, they would want to be by their child’s side.’’
Mary Mahoney was overwhelmed.

“We’re strangers,’’ she said. “They didn’t know us. They didn’t know anything about us. But they trusted Father Tommy.’’

So the Mahoneys of Cranford, N.J., moved into the Papelbons’ spacious, gracious condo on Beacon Street.

“It was unbelievable,’’ Mary Mahoney said. “We could walk to Mass. General to see Pat every day. Then he was transferred to Spaulding Rehab, so we walked there every day. We were there for months. It’s a beautiful place.’’

By the time Opening Day rolled around last month, Patrick was ready to be transferred to a rehab facility in New Hampshire. Papelbon and his family were still on the road by the time the Mahoneys left. “We still haven’t met them face to face,’’ Mary Mahoney said. “Ashley stays in touch. She wants to know how Pat is doing.’’

The Mahoneys told me this story because they know of no other way to repay the Papelbons for their kindness to total strangers. “They wouldn’t want the publicity,’’ Father Tommy was saying. “I could talk to you the rest of the day about the people here in Mississippi that Jonathan and Ashley have helped. And they’d be mad at me for telling you that, so I won’t. They’ll be mad I’m talking to you about this, but there you go.’’

Pat Mahoney has made great progress. His doctors say it’s a miracle. But that’s not the only miracle. “We were always Mets fans,’’ Mary Mahoney said. “But I told Ashley, we’re really Red Sox fans now. And we really are. Ashley loved it.’’


Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist.

It's nice to read a story about a professional athlete who thinks of other people besides himself, isn't it?

Giggle fit

I developed a rather severe case of the giggles while grocery shopping last night after soccer. I have reached that weird point off tiredness when things start to look funny and giggle fits happen.
We have just recently began to get into the harry potter series, the movies as well as the books.  Both my daughter and I are reading the series.
Now that’s relevant because it was the cause of my giggle fit.  We saw a red-headed boy who looked exactly like a character from the movies.  He was carrying a broom and not just any broom but a corn broom.  You know like witches and wizards fly.
It was enough to get me started and every time I saw him down an aisle I couldn’t help but start snickering. It clearly wasn’t just me as my daughter poked me and whispered to me exactly what I had been thinking.
It really wasn’t that funny but I honestly could not stop myself. I’ve had a busy weekend with short nights and even less sleep during those nights so I’m completely punchy and can no longer think straight.  
This morning has been full of silly little things that keep setting me off.  I put my boots on the wrong feet while walking the dog, I put my shirt on backwards, I put my coffee in the fridge, I mixed up school lunches and I started the washer without soap.
I’m defiantly going to bed early and try to get a good night sleep.  Eventually having this foggy addled brain is going to stop being quite so funny.    

Long Weekend

Ahh nothing like a weekend of carpentry in the rain to make one bright and energized Monday morning.
Or not.
My blisters have blisters, my back is out of joint and I have lost a good layer of skin from my hands. 
My husband and I spent the vast majority of the weekend working on a new shed in the back yard.  Other than a few breaks when either hunger overtook or the drizzle became a downpour we were working.
I must admit we did however make a lot of progress and what started as a pile of lumber Saturday morning is now clearly a shed.  Not much more than trim and half the shingles left to go, oh and paint.
I was really hoping we could get at least the construction part completed this weekend however I neglected to realize just how much work building an 8x12 shed would be.
I was hoping we could get it done as the next few weeks are booked solid with one thing after another.  I’m really not sure where I will find the time to finish it or at the very least get the rest of the shingles off my lawn and onto its roof.  
I think the biggest surprise however is that during two days of carpentry I have managed not to injure myself.  Sure I’m sore and achy but surprise surprise I managed not to draw blood even once.
The only thing that is really bothering me is the raw feeling of my hands.  Dragging around asphalt shingles has left them very sensitive and irritated.  It feels as though my hands have been sanded.  
I suppose I have finally learnt to be more careful and now tend to make a conscience effort not to end up in the ER.  I have not however learnt the importance of work gloves.

Frantic Friday

Holy crap what happened to the day? Actually I’d like to know what happened to my week. 
Wait I know soccer and soccer and more soccer.  This has been an absolute mad week.  I anticipated that with both girls playing this year that soccer season was going to be crazy and after one week in full swing I’m now sure.
I’m beginning to doubt my ability to make it through the next two months without cracking. Every single night several hours in between the driving and the games is now dedicated to soccer.  Add in Parent-teacher conferences a handful of errands to run each day and I haven’t had time to think.
Beyond the 5 minutes I sat to do my blog yesterday I quite literally did not sit down from 7 am to 10 pm. I’m now officially tired and cranky.
This weekend is shaping up to be just as crazy and will certainly disappear before I’m fully aware it’s actually here.
We are having a shed kit delivered tomorrow morning and the day will be spent on construction and most likely all of Sunday as well.  If it isn’t done by Sunday night I won’t get another chance to finish the project until the next weekend so I’m really hoping it goes well.    
I hate to leave my blog with such a hum drum and boring post, really not much more than an excuse rather than a real post but my mind is a mess and I’ve got a lot of work to do.  

Crazy Toddlers in Hats

Last weekend, while Sarah was doing the girls' annual turnover/conversion of clothes, she pulled out various hats that we forgot we had. So the girls, of course, did some fashioning of the hats. I caught some of the fashion show on video. Anna was hilarious:

Picture Day 5

Assiniboinne park Pavillion

duck pond facing south east


facing north


North with lights
The pavillion is visible from a large section of Assiniboinne Park and we see it often, going skating and sledding, flying kites, visiting the conservatory and of course July 1st and many other celebrations in the park. It brings to mind happy memories and the promise of more to come. 

It's Finally Ready - Here comes 'Dino Phone Attack!' - My First Animation Project Ever


Ok, so it's been a real busy week for me, I've stayed over in college for more than 40 hours - no breaks, no sleep, over all it was pretty much my home over the last week, I worked on this project for a few weeks, worked probably 18 hours every day, creating animation and color tests and learning After Effect and the list goes on and on guys, it's kinda funny because I literally slept in college, in the computer lab room, it was intense, I barely got any sleep lol, well, this is it, my first animation project ever, I learned a lot from it and tomorrow is our final deadline so it's going to be a lot of fun. I want to thank Sasha and Sergey for helping me out, Sasha, thanks for staying up all night with me and for keeping me company, I really appreciate it man, and if you're reading this right now, I uploaded the video we shot at like 3 AM in the morning after everybody was gone. It was so much fun and so cool, you and Sergey are awesome dudes!

Anyways, to watch the video please click here - 'Dino Phone Attack!' - First Animation Project

Some info about the school project -
We had to create 15 seconds of animation for a commercial, the commercial was meant to tell people to turn off their mobile phones at the movie theaters, we were working on this project in association with the local movie theaters which is really cool.

As I explained above, I shot a video at 3 AM in the morning while working on my project in college, I asked the main assistant in the school if I could stay overnight and work on my project and it's very rare when a student asks something like that lol, so anyway, the assistant was kind enough to tell me that he'd stay up with me all night so we can both work on our personal projects, which was really cool, I really had a lot of fun.

Here's the video and here are some pics from this real long night, when we took this video we basically were on a short break, we had to take like a 30 mins break to rest our minds a little bit lol if you guys wanna see some of the stuff we were doing at 3 AM in the morning click here I donno, I find this video funny and cool at the same time, especially when he had to help me put the guitar on for like 5 mins lol
Oh, and if you're asking yourself what was the lenguage we were speaking on the video, it was half english, half hebrew, I know just a little bit of hebrew, still learning... yeah right

Automatic Doors

I was out shopping last night with one of my girls and as we left the automatic door decided I don’t exist and wouldn’t open for me. I thankfully managed to stop short before ramming my nose into the glass but it was a close call. I had to wait for my daughter to catch up and sure enough they opened for her.
This is not the first time it has happened to me and I have walked into a number of automatic doors.  I practically have to do jumping jacks to get the darn things to “see” me. 
How is it possible to walk up to a door wrong? Really I would love to know what I’m doing wrong here.  The ongoing joke/explanation around our house is that the problem is I have no soul.
I have troubles with automatic anything, I can set off most automatic things but never when I mean to or to have them work correctly. Public bathrooms with their automatic everything have made using them a real challenge. 
It is a guaranteed that at least one thing will not work right for me. I’ve even started carrying hand sanitizer simply because I would rather use it then attempt to wash my hands in one of these washrooms.
I’m somewhat convinced that electronics simply don’t like me.  Many years ago my husband had a Newton (think first palm pilots) which had the feature of translating writing on the screen to text.
 My husband to show me how this worked wrote my name.  We both ended up trying several times but every time one of us would write or even print my name it would produce the word evil rather than Erin.
The difficulty I’ve had with electronics since then makes me think perhaps that Newton was trying to tell me something.  I have tried to convince myself it simply wasn’t able to recognize a proper name as I see that happen quite regularly with my phone while texting but still Erin to evil?  I mean honestly, that is not even close.  
I really hope I'm not the only one who is ignored by these things, if I am I may have to start giving the idea of being evil or soulless some credence.

Lost Savings?

I threw out a coupon book yesterday to replace it with this years book we just bought.
Very few coupons had actually been used. I’m sure I used enough to make up what I spent on the book in the first place but there were a lot more that could have been used at some point but didn’t.
I don’t really tend to buy coupon books. The only reason I buy this one is because it is a school fundraiser and I feel somewhat obligated to. I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally bought a coupon book because I wanted it.
The problem is that I’m not a coupon person, I will collect coupons that are a dollar or more off or a buy one get one kind of coupon however I rarely ever use them.  I mean to use them I just forget. 
Every time I bother to keep a coupon what actually happens is the next time I buy that item I forget I have a coupon and the next time and the next time. Eventually it will get tossed out when I find it expired 6 months later at the bottom of my purse.   
I don’t really consider it a matter of importance otherwise I’m sure I would actually remember to use them in the first place.  The only time I really think about it is on days when I end up tossing a bunch of expired coupons that I’ve had plenty of opportunity to use.
I can’t help but wonder how much money I could have saved over the years if I had actually used all the coupons I’ve had the opportunity to.  A quick flip through last years book shows me a pretty significant number of pretty good coupons unused. One of the grocery coupons alone could have saved me twenty dollars (20% off purchases over $100).
Sure the amounts I could have saved individually are usually quite small but added up it makes a lot more sense to use the bloody things if I have them anyway.  I’m going to try leaving the book in the car this year and seeing if that helps me to use more.  I doubt it but it’s worth a try.