Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rhythm of Running

Part One:

I step out my front door four days a week with my runners on, iPod on the go and a water bottle in my hand headed out to run where ever my feet take me. I go as far as want as fast or as slow as want, I turn off my brain and I center myself to the earth and to the music and I find peace.

Sometimes I get going and everything falls into place, I have hit what I call my 'rhythm'. For me that is when my heart rate, my breathing pattern and my legs all decide to work together and I feel like I am flying. I can't say at anytime I feel like it is effortless, but it sure feels good. I come home collapse in the driveway happy that I laced up my runners.

Other times I never hit IT. I don't get everything to match up, it feels like I am working harder than I have to; my shoulders are up high around my ears, I clench up my hands a bit. Or maybe its just a day that my legs feel heavy and I can feel my ass jiggling behind me as I pound my way down the hill. I does not feel good to run on these days, but when I get home and collapse in the driveway I feel good, happy that I laced up that day.

Part Two:

The kids have been back to school for almost a month now (APL they start back the Tuesday after Labour day, mine missed the first week, they were in Vegas with Paul) Sebass has started second grade and PJ is into first. Quentin had some choices to make this year, he could do one or two Kindergarten classes.

He is in the Montessori class and has been in the preschool for a few years now. He had the option of doing the Montessori kindergarten, the public school kindergarten or to do both classes on in the morning and one in the afternoon. Quentin thought about his options for about two seconds and said to me, "Mommy, I would like to make more friends so I think I will do both classes."

He does montessori in the morning and then a lunch program with the teachers of the morning class and then they walk him to his second classroom for the afternoon. (It is all at the same school and PJ and SeaBass are at the same school as well) What all this means is that all of my kids are in full time school.

I, being the fool that I am, have decided to most of my newly found free time to work. Yes, you read that right I volunteered to work more. I am now in the office 4 days a week. We have added office hours, we now have two days a week that between Paul and I we work straight through the day. We open the office and 7:00 and a.m. and we close at 5:00 no closing for lunch. It is working out well, but it means a bigger work load for all of us. Both Paul and I are feeling the crunch as we get into the rhythm of things.

Here is where I tie in Part One and Part Two:

I am struggling a bit to manage everything. I feel like I am sprinting from point A to point B all day every day. The kids have homework that needs to be attended too, they have piano lessons one afternoon a week (and practice their lessons 4 days a week, I only ask them to do it for 12 min. let's keep it reasonable, it is supposed to be fun.) they start Peter Puck on Thursday of this week and will do that only one day a week.

Learning how to get everything done and still keeping it fun for the kids has been like one one of those daily runs where I never quite get my rhythm. I feel like I am doing the right things and getting the right balance but I am struggling a bit to do it, shoulders up around my ears, my hands clenched to tight and my ass dragging along behind me while I completely forget to breath in and out. At the end of the day when I collapse on the couch I find myself glad I put on my runners and laced up but damn I can't wait until I find my rhythm again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Secret Mystery Guy

Shannon, can you tell I have been reading the Junie B books to PJ. She loves them by the way. They really make all the kids laugh.

This weekend we went camping to Badger Lake, it was incredibly beautiful and the weather was perfect. It was really cold at night, frost on the ground when you wake up kind of cold and warm enough for shorts during the day.

Here is the infamous Pablo. I finally caught him on film (on memory card actually) here he is checking out his camping pictures.

Paul and Doug decided a couple of the large rocks in our campsite were in the way so they decided to re-arrange the campground. I got such a chuckle out of guys being guys. Of course Pablo got right into the swing of things and soon the men folk had the dirt and rocks arranged to their liking.

They thought this rock moving was perfectly normal, but if I think I want to move the couch to the other side of the front room they would both think I was crazy.

I mixed in a few pictures with the macro lens. I spent a bit of my time playing with it and relaxing that way. I am really enjoying it.

Doug came camping with us, Badger Lake is actually one of his favorite camping places and he really wanted to show it to us. It is a bit of a bumpy ride in with the trailer but worth every bump. There are only 16 campsites there. It is very quiet and private.

Doug has some great toys and he brought them out to share with us. He has a quad and everyone had a go at it. Paul has been trying to get me to try a quad for a couple of years now. Well, I did this past weekend and I am hooked. Paul drove it into the bush and I drove it out. I went slow and easy at a pace I was comfortable with, what a blast. We drove out to a little lake and sat there just the two us for a little bit and enjoyed the solitude, so nice.

Doug brought two kayak's with him as well. Here is Pablo in one of them. The lake is like glass and you can putter all around it in the kayaks. You can use them in as little as a foot of water, so you can cruise along the shore and check out whatever you want or travel out to the middle of the lake and enjoy the space.

Another macro lens shot:

One more picture of Pablo the secret mystery guy. I am posting this one for his parents. He seems to having a great time here in Canada and is welcoming any adventure that crosses his path. (He did not go out the quad alone, he did went out with Paul and was wearing safety gear!) We are enjoying him very much his two months with us is going by just a little to quickly for all of us.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tangled Web

I love what you all had to say about my last post. I knew I was speaking to a group of women that would understand what I was saying and contribute more for me to think about.

Here is a picture of the sunset off our back deck about two weeks ago. It was not long I think after Pablo had arrived, a week maybe. I told him to go outside and check out the sunset. I thought it was so nice of mother nature to give him such a show within his first week.

The spider web pictures I took with the macro lens were only a small portion of the web. The web is quite beautiful. When you walk out the sliding glass door to the back deck. If you look up and too your right this web has been made there attached to the house and to the gazebo cover over the deck.

It is quite large, at least a foot and half across maybe larger. We have all watched it grow and every one has respectfully let the spider work and avoids the web so they don't damage it. Often you can see the spiders dinner it.

I have been wondering where the spider is, I have never actually seen her until today. (was is Charlotte's Web that makes me think of most spiders as being female?) I decided to have a closer look and see if I could find the homeowner. She is in the picture below but hard to see due her colouring.

This one should make it easier for you. These are taken with my regular lens. I did not want to get so close as to disturb her. She is huge. This photo does her no justice. She is big fat and round with very furry short legs. She is the size of a big fat purple grape. I am not kidding you, she is huge. Think the end of thumb kind of thing. I think if she were a person she would be shaped with pear if you know what I mean.

We will just leave her be unless she seeks shelter in the house in the winter. She is not welcome inside. Maybe if she moves in I could talk Paul into moving her out to the shed? Do spiders hibernate or what?? Anyone out there know what the heck they do in the winter?

Shannon, I went online and did some research I ended up buying the Cannon EF 100mm f/2.8 marco lens. It seemed the best for what I wanted without spending to much dough. Makes me laugh the booklet on it says it does 1x magnification...um isn't that lifesized, so basically no magnification? You can get as close as 15cm from the front of the lens to your subect and out to 1.6 feet. (odd that I think in both feet and cm and don't think about now) So far I like it, a serious learning curve on how close to get and how to focus. Fun stuff. Which lens did you decide on?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Maybe a Rant

"Race against Time, how will the American voters make their choice."

This was the byline for a news report on a major Canadian television station the other day. I have to say that at first it made very angry. (You should know that I did not actually catch the whole piece so I have no idea how they played the angle) I found myself incensed that the world is viewing this election and Americans like this.

The implication that I am going to make my choice regarding the leadership of my country of birth based on one's age or the colour of their skin makes me angry. What about the real issues? War, health care, economy, environment....the list is long.

I was all fired up to blog about it, to email the television station that this byline is not okay. I slept on it for a few days and came the conclusion that frankly, makes me a little sad. I think that for a portion of the world population and for a percentage of US voters this "Race against Time" this; African American vs. the Experienced War Hero is THE issue.

I think that if the press focused a little less (read not at all) on what the candidates look like and a little more on what they stand for, if they chose to deliver information on the issues instead of sensationalism it may actually affect how people choose what box to mark on their ballot.

I don't want to stir everyone up. I am not on top of all issues myself. But I can tell you that for me what is NOT an issue is the colour of the candidates skin nor the wrinkles that line their faces.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bring the Noise

I am celebrating tonight. I just had a medium thin crust chicken club pizza delivered and I cracked open a beer. Paul and the kids come back tomorrow afternoon. I am celebrating their return, I am ready to have the house full of noise again, and I am celebrating my last evening to myself.

Pablo is on his first exchange weekend meeting all the other rotary exchange students. It has been fun to have this week with him without the kids. I think it gave him a good chance to get started in school and into a morning routine before we add the kids to the mix. I have really enjoyed having the quiet evenings to chat with him about his day and how is getting along here in Canada. He is a wonderful young man to spend time with.

I had a 'duh' moment with my vest. I pulled out a fleece vest I wear all the time and I like the way it fits. I put away the tape measure and knit the back of the Celtic Vest until it was the same width across the shoulders as my fleece vest. I appreciate the help, I agree with mom and Shannon about the 15' being in addition to the few inches I had already knit.

I got a laugh when Shannon posted about her macro lens. I have been looking for one on the internet for a while and finally ordered when I found a price I liked and saved some money for it. I got it a week or two ago, I have only played with it a little. It is going to take a bit for me to get the hang of it.

We had a light shower while I was in the hot tub this morning and I saw the way the water was beading up on the flowers and it seemed like a good time to play with the lens. The focal field really changes when you get that lens on. It is easy to focus on a portion of something and blur out the rest of your picture, but really hard for me to get the whole field into focus. I had a great time playing with it today.

I think it is time for one more slice of pizza, a good action movie and some more knitting.

Shannon, I took a page out your book today and danced around the living room with music blasting in my ears. I was wearing my pajamas though. It was fun, I thought of you and had a great time.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Knitting Help

I have been knitting up the Celtic vest and it is coming along pretty quickly. I really like the stitch pattern, I will take a picture of it this weekend for you. I am not that impressed with the pattern directions. I actually have a question for all of you, the directions seem to be a bit subject to interpretation and I am wondering what you all think.

The vest is knit sideways and you start under the right arm, you knit for about 2" in pattern and then you cast on more stitches and you are knitting the back. pattern reads: " cast on x number of stitches and continue in pattern for 13/15/17" I can't decide if the entire work is supposed to measure 15" (I am knitting a medium) or if the work from the added cast-on stitches is to measure 15" Anyone have an idea. I figure I can fudge a bit when I block it, but I don't want it to stick out to far across the shoulders.

I took Pablo and one of the German exchange students to see The Dark Knight movies last night. It was so good. I am feeling the need to see the movie a second time and that does not happen often for me.

Tonight after work is girls night. Three women who I work out with are coming over after a run. I emailed Paul to let him know the hot tub would be full of beautiful woman while he was out of town.

He and the kids are having fun. I guess Sebass has spent so much time in the pool he is wearing out the bottom of feet on the concrete pool bottom. Paul sounds wonderful and relaxed when I talk him on the phone he needed the break from work. They will be home Sunday evening.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Paul and the kids left for Vegas on Friday afternoon. They will be back next Monday.

Pablo went out the lake with one of the rotary families and I spent the weekend in quiet. I did not even turn on my computer, except to email Paul and check in with him.

I went out Friday evening and slept in until 7:30 on Saturday. When I woke up I read a book in bed for a little while. It was cold in the morning so I just snuggled in with a cup of coffee and good book. It was wonderful. I waited until it hit 15C and then I went out for a run, came home and had a hot tub and a shower.

I did go out of the house to get a baby gift for our neighbor and to pick up some groceries for myself and Pablo when he gets back on Monday evening.

I have been knitting away on my vest. I started and finished an entire book. I borrowed three movies from Dave and watched them all. I went on three runs, washed all the sheets in the house and cleaned the kids rooms. I did a little shopping and had brunch with Doug. It has been very relaxing. I am just starting to miss the energy of the kids and Paul in the house.

The timing is good as I work for the rest of the week and Pablo is on his way home from the lake. I will get my fill of people again and have lots to distract me from missing the kids and Paul.