Edmonton Tourist: Smoky Lake Pumpkin Fair

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The first Saturday in October, Smoky Lake Alberta hosted the 31st annual Pumpkin Fair. I had never been. Since I haven’t been on much of a vacation this year, I thought I would continue the ‘Alberta Staycations’ I have been experiencing.

Smoky Lake is about an hour and a half northeast of Edmonton. The hubs and I stopped at Tim Hortons for breakfast and steeped tea ( I might be the only Canadian who doesn’t enjoy their coffee but they make EXCELLENT steeped tea) and headed north-ish.

I love a good road trip.

There was a long convoy of vehicles travelling from Edmonton to this small town. Since we had no idea where we were going, we followed them. That took us to the school that hosted the Farmer’s Market.

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There was a part two to the market down at the gazebo which we would visit later. The first impression was, damn Smoky Lake residents, good on you for supporting this event in full force. I am sure the entire town was here plus visitors from surrounding areas and Edmonton. I knew many people who came to this but only saw their Instagram posts, I didn’t run into them.

The lines for the market tables were slow. One woman asked the vendor where the farmer’s market was, and he laughed and said – you are here. To be fair, it was really a craft fair, the farmer part was down the hill.

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So many people and lots of quilts, candles and indigenous creations from beadwork to moccasins. The knitted sweaters and alpaca woollens were stunning! This is where I ran into an old friend I’ve known for 50 years.

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We took the obligatory selfies and then she and her hubs were kind enough to show us around the fair! To be honest, I was grateful. This place felt overwhelming for me, plus it was fun to catch up.

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We left the busy school and climbed down the hill towards the midway and gazebo where Famer’s Market part II took place.

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There were fewer farmer stalls than I expected. I think the bulk of the growers were in the building that charged admission. This was where the pumpkins and gourds compete for largest.

But…

There were some amazing things to see.

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If I played cribbage, I would be all over these. It made me think of Sundays at my grandpa’s house. He would break out the cribbage board and play his boys before dinner. I wish I could have given him a set.

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We found wine – even hemp wine!

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We found alpaca wool galore. I bought three dry balls to try those out. I am on a quest to reduce single-use plastics and unnecessary chemicals. Goodbye fabric softener, hello wolley dryer balls.

I fell in love with alpaca shawls and took the producer’s card so I can call her when I free up some cash flow after Christmas.

After we looked at all the vendors, we went out towards the midway.

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It brought back memories of Sherwood Park’s Medieval Days where my friends and I would hang out on a Friday and Saturday night each summer.

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By this time it was getting late and we needed to be back in the city for dinner with a friend, plus we wanted to visit the Victoria Settlement provincial historic site. So we bid each other goodbye and did a drive-by of the show and shine downtown.

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Hearses were out! That is a proper car for a pumpkin fair show and shine!

I am sad to report that I didn’t stick around for the giant pumpkin weigh-off or the smashing pumpkin, but this photo from RaisingEdmonton.com will give you the idea of the size and scope of these beauties. 1500+ lbs. How great would that be for a jack-o-lantern?

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If you missed it this year, pop it into your calendar for 2020, the first Saturday of October. It’s worth a visit.

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Edmonton Tourist: Irene Parlby Park Take 2

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Way back in 2016 I did a quest that focused on visiting all the Edmonton River Valley Parks. I did that except one – Hermitage Park. I haven’t been yet. Maybe this weekend. I never think to go there mostly because it is in a part of town I never visit so it’s off my radar. My favourite is Mill Creek Ravine, followed by Irene Parlby Park. You can read the original post here.

I went back as I do, several times a year because I love it. If you told me I could live in Rossdale, I would pack my bags and be there in a heartbeat. Either Rossdale, Cloverdale or Riverdale, I could live there easily. I had heard the walkway from Irene Parlby to the Walterdale Bridge was open. This walkway had been closed since I began running. I ran my first half marathon in 2011, this was my first race. I am not like those other people who work their way up in mileage. No, I like to go big or go home. Now, eight years later, I realize going home is way better. I have all the things I love at home from family and my pal the dog, to coffee and my cozy blanket suitable for snoozing on the couch. But I had always wanted to see what that path was like. SO I DID IT.

Last Sunday.

I parked north of the park mostly because the area is zoned for permit parking because of the proximity to the baseball diamond, ReMax Field. Plus there was a game that day. Captain and I walked the three blocks to the start of the park.

The first thing we noticed was the lack of mowing done by the city. I thought this park was more manicured than it appears. I like growing parks naturally along the river and ravines, but this park should be an exception. Why? For no other reason than I like it that way.

The public art is still beautiful.

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We met other dogs and people along the way. Runners and cyclers were out in full force. Then we made it to the gate that had been closed my entire running career.

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Glory be! It was open and no one was happier than me and my pal Cap.

Did you know there is a new footbridge too? Well, I had no idea what was here so I am assuming its new.

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It looks new. This gave me a nice perspective of Queen Elizabeth Park (formerly my favourite park and is my favourite picnic park).

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To the untrained eye, it is just river valley forest. I know it is in there. Trust me.

We walked further west and checked out the Rossdale treatment plant fun facts. I can’t remember any of them. All about the environment and watershed. Oh wait, I remember the headwaters come from the Columbia Icefields and Saskatchewan Glacier. I may have already known that having visited the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River at Saskatchewan Crossing many times along the Jasper/Banff Parkway.

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Bonus view of Walter in the distance.

We made our way to Walter. The new Walterdale bridge. I love this bridge. She is a beaut. I had always wanted to walk underneath but alas it was closed during construction and my entire running career. But now I had my chance and she did not disappoint.IMG_3499

The landscaping around it is lovely.

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All native Alberta plants from trembling aspen to wild rose.

We spent a good hour exploring the area and walked back through the residential Rossdale, where I fantasized about living in one of the restored homes. Although secretly I prefer Infill. Don’t tell anyone.

It’s now open for recreation use and I encourage you to take a peek. I love my city and I hope you get a chance this summer to find out you love it too.

 

18 for 18: Workshop Eatery

It seems like all I do is go out for breakfast. Not true…well sort of true. I do have a brunch date in April with my pal Karen and I did go out with Rena yesterday but in my defence, it’s fairly icy at the parks around town so my 18 in 18 list is currently being checked off by visiting indoor type activities.

By participating in the challenge I learned something about myself, I like outdoor stuff. I like picnics in the parks, I like explore outdoor places with my pal Captain, I like photographing unusual things. I have two 18 lists. One for The Edmonton Tourist and one for private me. Private me has crossed a few things off the list too. I am even cool with sharing the not-so-private things. I completed the Master Writing Class with Judy Blume. She was the JK Rowling of my generation. Early 70’s I read everything she published, twice. I wrote her a thank you note at the end of the class AND SHE WROTE ME BACK! I cried and squealed and my friend Krista had me print the letter and frame it. I have a copy at work and one on my desk at home. She signed it, Love Judy. LOVE JUDY!!! She knows who I am and now I want to go to her non-profit bookstore in the Florida Keys because JUDY BLUME!!!

I also started a photo series called the Totem Pole Project. You can find that project on instagram #totempoleproject. I have completed private things that are weird cleaning projects but de-cluttering makes me happy. Thanks Mom. I still have over 10 things on that list and 14 on my Edmonton Tourist List but I am finding this project to be strangely fulfilling. It is satisfying to cross stuff off the list.

That brings me to #4, have Brunch at Workshop Eatery. ( South Edmonton is definitely on the prairies) They have their own gardens out front. I love that in a restaurant!

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My pal Warren told me this was a place I would enjoy. He has never steered me wrong, so I made a reservation for a Saturday morning not knowing who would come with me. I left that for the Universe to decide. As luck would have it, my University friend Rena said, “Hey, want to do brunch?” I said, “ABSOLUTELY and I have a reservation!”

I arrived 5 minutes late and she was waiting in the lobby with these beautiful treats! We brought our own eggs to brunch. The staff found that funny.

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She has chickens in her yard. Part of me is jealous and part of me remembers how terrified of chickens I am. I do love eggs and these are my breakfast. I will boil some for Easter because they are already decorated, thanks Mother Nature! I also think they will become meringues with lemon curd nested on top or I will attempt to recreate the meringues from Café Linnea.

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We had the first reservation of the day, the place filled up fast and with good reason. They post on the website “Our menu is small and our food takes time. This is intentional. We would rather do few things and do them well. Be patient, good things come to those who wait!” I have to agree, although I didn’t think I had to wait longer than anywhere else for food, but it was delicious. I can’t always say that at restaurants where the wait is long.

I had a latté (obviously – hello? Do you even know me?), my companion had Alberta peppermint tea.

Coffee was fine, not in my top 10 but better than Starbucks so it was good in my books! ( I like Starbucks) The tea infuser was cool, and pepperment tea is always nice.

I ordered off the menu.

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Huevos Benedicto and the cornbread made this meal perfection.

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Rena had something…something Benedict (I want to say pastrami hash) It was on the specials chalk board.

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Bread comes from Bon Ton, best Jewish bakery in the city and my personal favourite bakery of all time. She also ordered a side of Mimosa. Apparently it was delicious. I am not sure why I didn’t. Mostly because I thought she just ordered juice, it didn’t occur to me to order drinks. Strange but true.

We dined for about an hour and a half in front of the big window. I am surprised great food is located this for south in the burbs of Summerside because usually its just chain restaurants. This is one of the top resturants in the city and I would likely take out-of-town visitors here to wow them. I would definitely eat here again, likely several times. I want to try dinner and come here for my birthday breakfast, but honestly, I swear I do not eat out that often. Maybe once a month, it just seems like more.

Put this on your list and make reservations. Go check out their menu. I was inspired to buy furniture after breakfast, so proceed with caution.

2003 91 St SW, Edmonton.

I recommend going with Rena, she is always inspirational and makes me think. I like that in a friend. She is one of my people. On second thought, find your own Rena. I am sure you have people you would love to dine with.

The Red Chair Project

It happened.

I turned 50.

I had great expectations for turning 50 but I couldn’t name any of them. It was vague but it was going to be great.

I took my birthday off. It was in the middle of a hectic week at work and my thoughts were filled with shoulds. As in ‘you should do this…’  Only I didn’t do that.  Listening to Love, Sex and Money podcast with Anna Sale, I heard Ellen Bernstein call those kinds of days ‘Shouldless Days’. I took her advice and gave myself a great gift. August 16th became the Shouldless Day.

I had spent the last 9 months in a daily meditation practice and it changed my perspective and showed me what was important. Worrying about work was not one of those things. So in the busiest season, the busiest week, I took my birthday off.

Best thing I ever did.

Here are the Coles notes from that day:

  • I took myself out for breakfast
  • went for a walk with my pal The Captain
  • I received a special birthday gift from my grandfather
  • I received a life-changing email
  • I went out for dinner
  • I cried from happiness

It was an epic birthday. I declared my 50th year to be the year of Epic Adventure.

Canada celebrated its 150th year as well….ok I am not getting into the ins and outs of colonization or the political reasons etc, but for better or worse, it turned 150. With that, Parks Canada celebrated by opening up all the national parks with a free park pass. I thought this would be a great way to spend my 50th year, I would visit National Parks. I live fairly close to 2 parks and not far from 2 more. I could make an effort to visit these… but money was really tight. Finding a way to visit those distant parks was going to be expensive.

 

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City Hall Edmonton

 

I decided not to worry about the how I was going to do it, but focus on the intention of going. I wanted value from my park passes so I made an effort to visit Elk Island National park. It is only 30km away from me. Cap and I could make the trip, explore a little bit and go a few times this year. Done. Value out of my park pass! When we arrived at the park, we discovered Red Chairs! Parks Canada has installed Red Chairs at scenic points in all the National Parks. My first visit was at the height of winter.  I found 3 pairs of chairs. Then I went back in the summer and saw them differently.

I was now obsessed with these Red Chairs. I convinced the Hubs to go to Jasper National Park, it is about a 4-hour drive from my home. Money was still tight so we decided to call it a day trip.

Not one Red Chair was found and I was disappointed. I got over it quickly because, you know, JASPER! I did find green chairs!

 

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Athabasca River View

 

I had googled where the Red Chair locations were but couldn’t locate them. Not to worry, Jasper is one of my favourite places on the planet, we enjoyed our day and Captain loved it as well. So many new things to sniff!

My birthday happened and then a week later my life changed. I was offered a new position with a new company, the Hubs retired and unexpectedly we had the opportunity to travel for one week. We thought about traveling to all kinds of places, but the idea of going to Tofino really appealed to me. We had not been since we were first married over 21 years ago. Tofino is located on Vancouver Island. One week on the ocean sounded like the perfect opportunity to relax.

We flew to Victoria and rented a car. From there we drove up-Island and over to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This was easily the greatest vacation I ever experienced. We stayed at a local resort, I played in the tide pools and stood in the waves for hours. At Chesterman Beach, we spotted a two more pairs.

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We explored trails through the rainforest and found another pair of Red Chairs.

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I wanted to stay another week but commitments required me elsewhere.  My plans for other National parks were on hold. New job starting, a trip to New York City was in the works. my 50th year had started off awesome and was just getting better.

Before I knew it, I had a few extra days off allotted to me. We had new things to celebrate. My kids received great news and we thought this deserved a family vacation celebration. We all decided to drive to Banff National Park. Since we were all traveling as a family, we needed to find a location that permitted  The Captain. As safe and friendly as some kennels are, it was not something I wanted Cap to experience, we either all go as a family, or we don’t go at all.

Tunnel Mountain had A-Frame cottages that allowed dogs,  a four day weekend was now in the works for us. We arrived before the snow fell, went for dinner and enjoyed our evening by the fire. The next morning our adventure was about to begin.

We drove along Tunnel Mountain and less than 5 minutes into our trip, I spotted Red Chairs. We stopped and took in the view.

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Bow Valley was beautiful and crisp. After our fill, we traveled to the Hoodoos to take in that view. We found another set of Red Chairs. These ones were part of the restoration trail project.

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I sat on one and took in the view. I had not meditated yet that day and the family was exploring the hoodoos, so I decided to sit in silence for my morning ritual. I had explored this practice in Tofino. There is something magical about meditating in nature.

Soon we decided to head up to Lake Minniwanka. As we rounded the corner and stopped at the look-out, we noticed the road going south. I had never explored this road before and I had no idea it was a loop, one that navigated south along Two Jack Lake. 50 years of visiting Banff National Park and I am still finding new things.  Before long, we spotted another set of Red Chairs.

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Again I sat in silence and enjoyed the view while my kids explored the peninsula and skipped stones. The view was beautiful.

After this stop, we ventured over to Vermillion Lakes, no Red Chairs but another spot I had never explored before. This weekend was all about new experiences. It was fantastic.

We needed to pick up some items for dinner so we drove into Banff and stopped at IGA, they also had a Red Chair – a giant one very different from the National Park Chairs, but it still counted in my eyes.

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Now it is November. I canceled my trip to New York but may have an opportunity to visit Waterton National Park before Christmas. The park experienced extreme fire this summer and I don’t know what is left but I think I will take time to explore Glacier Lake and the village to see for myself. I heard there is a pair of Red Chairs that face the Fairmont. It looks like my Epic 50th year and the Red Chair Project will continue. Next year, I think I will visit the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada to explore more National Parks and see more views from the Red Chair.

Goodbye, Farewell, The End

In one month it will be the second anniversary of the Edmonton Tourist Project ( I woke up this morning and realized it is the third anniversary! WOW 3 years!).

I can no longer recognize the girl I use to be.

I began this site as a way to help me become accountable, take risks, heal the hurt and become the person I dreamed I could. I learned the difference between goals and dreams. A goal is a way to realize your dreams and wishes. I have learned the secret to goal achievement and it is satisfying in ways I never thought possible.

I will graduate in December. WOW. I once never dreamed I was smart enough for University. Now I find it mundane and limiting in my learning. Looking forward to having letters after my name. It automatically gets people’s attention when the reality is, I was just as smart before, but now I know how to put it all together. That is progress.

I say yes more often to try things and no more often when I have taken on too much or just really don’t want to do something.

I have traveled solo and figured out where I begin and my family ends. This was also important for me. I needed to learn boundaries.

I have learned and practice great nutrition. I have lost nearly 95lbs in two years. I have  another 90lbs to go, BUT it has become habit. Great food choices made of REAL food have taught me to listen to my body. I know what it needs and when it needs it. Eating gratuitous sugar because it is someones birthday is rarely worth the calories. It has to be OUTSTANDING before I will spend calories on sugar laden food because there are consequences to those actions. I either eat less, work out more or gain some temporary weight. Neither of those options are awesome. So I choose carefully.

I have learned that loving someone doesn’t mean it has to be a married relationship or a parental one. I love my girlfriends, fella friends, and family with a fierce intensity that I didn’t know existed within me. This has given me permission to spend time with those people and the ones I just like…get less time or none because my time is limited and valuable. It doesn’t mean you are not valuable it just means I am prioritising my life. I come first, then family, then friends, then school, then work. Work is last because it is a means to a lifestyle. However, it made the list so you can be sure work is filled with passion. If it isn’t on the list, it lacks passion. Without passion, I have no desire to put in an effort. That was my problem before the project. I had my priorities mixed up. I need to nurture me so I can nurture my passions.

That makes it simple.

I place me first for the reason listed above, however, I didn’t put into what ME means:

I have learned I am a social introvert. I like socializing but not all the time. Please don’t drop in on me, call first. There is a list of people who are welcome to drop in and that list includes my mom, dad, sister, my best friend and George Clooney. Call first or I get cranky.

I need to include fitness in my life for lots of reasons, but the big one is if I have to face surgery for my brain tumour, then I want to be as fit and healthy as possible. Death does not scare me, but my children still need their mommy for the time being and I intend to be there as they need me. Being THE MOM is a responsibility that I do believe I was created for. I take it seriously and approach it with humor and humility. I have raised amazing humans and can’t wait to see how they shape their future.

I need to read. I need to continue learning and I need to sit in stillness and reflect. This is what defines me. Include fitness in there and those things need to be done alone for me. That is my recharge time. People exhaust me, I love them but I need that space away – and often, like everyday.

I need to set goals to reach new dreams. Goal setting and dream achieving is simply amazeballs.

So does this means I am fixed and no longer need the Edmonton Tourist Project? Well?

I have been think about that a lot while I run. Running has become my focus and passion lately. Writing is my creative outlet. I am writing 2 books right now. They tumble out of me like movies. That leaves me with nothing left to say on the Edmonton Tourist Project. While my growth continues, I no longer feel blogging about it is the right platform.

That must mean this is the end.

I am so incredibly grateful to those of you who have supported me all the way along. I have met incredible bloggy friends along the way, some turned into real life friends, some have drifted away and others have died. This tells me that endings do not have to be bad. Happy endings are lovely too.

Is my blogging career over? NO WAY! I am devoting my writing over at my health and fitness blog called Me and MO. Mo is short for momentum. You can find it HERE or http://justmeandmo.wordpress.com/  It is the same me who looks at life slightly skewed with humor in her brain and wit on the tongue.

I get it if all that running and nutrition talk isn’t for you. I do understand that. It isn’t for everybody. For now it is where I need to be.

Soon I will close this site, revamp it and change it into something different. But I am taking the summer off.

This feels right. It is time to say goodbye to old me and embrace the me I really am. It kind of feels like the final episode of M*A*S*H* and I feel like BJ. Not wanting to say it but needing to.

Keep in touch friends.

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Facing My Fears and having it go OH SO WRONG!

fears Since my Edmonton Tourist Journey began and I started saying YES more than NO. I also began taking risks and facing my fears. Some of the biggest obstacles I have overcome involved me speaking up, saying what I thinking and using my passion and intellect to support my convictions. It has worked out mostly good. Not everything was good, some things were painful and embarrassing but I do not regret anything I have done since 2010. I have been intentional about change, trying new things and being a risk taker. I regret nothing…until today. Today was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I’ll come back to why it was bad, but first I feel a list coming on. I feel the need to list the fears I have overcome since this project has began.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 List of Faced Fears

  1. I let other people plan my vacation. That was hard for me, I like to be in control and know what is going on. Consequently, I two amazing vacations that were very relaxing. I won’t do it every time because planning is fun for me, but I did contact my new travel agent  – I like her a lot. She is planning a little  (big) trip for my son’s graduation. It will be EPIC and I am not scared!
  2. University. I was scared I wasn’t smart enough for University. I was scared I couldn’t write a paper. I learned I am pretty good at research and writing, so much so that I will graduate with awesome marks (honors), AND in December of this year. I faced a big fear, overcame it and now I am about to reap it’s rewards. SUPER EXCITED!
  3. Less Food. Weird for people who don’t use food to feed their emotions or use it to provide emotional support, but I do both. Or rather did. I still do occasionally but now I catch myself doing it. It was a long hard road to face the fact that food is fuel and not therapy. I am halfway there. By the time I am 50, I will be on the beach somewhere rocking a bikini. Something I haven’t done since I was 14. AND WILL I BE AWESOME!!
  4. Run. I had a gym teacher in grade 7 (Mr. Snow I am looking at YOU) You weren’t even a real teacher yet, one of those Student Teachers that are either great or sucked. You sucked. You called me a candy ass because I couldn’t run. News flash: Fat kids can’t run 2.5km without stopping on the very first day. We are fat for a lot of reasons but one of them was WE DID NOT RUN EVER! Now I run. I ran 13km the other day, this week is 14km for my LSD and you know what Mr. Snow? I learned how to do it with people calling me names. Except for that one time I had to teach the mean girls a lesson in politeness and teach them that everyone has a different starting point. They were like you, narrow minded and egotistical. I hope you learned some empathy or you were going to end up being the WORST TEACHER EVER.
  5. Trying New Things. I had a project where I tried 52 new things in a year. One new thing a week. It was easier than I figured it would be. I learned trying new stuff can be fun, at the very least it is hilarious if you can laugh at yourself.
  6. Public Speaking. When I was the Chairperson for the parent council at my kids elementary school, I had to speak in front of the entire parent population. I won’t lie, I was terrified. As I continued through my project facing my fears, I became better at public speaking. I am now a motivational speaker and lead workshops and seminars. I have even been apart of a media scrum and answered questions from reporters on TV. It is now easy. I never would have thought that possible.
  7. Racing. As a kid, I was the one who came in last. I would skip school so I wouldn’t have to go to Track and Field Day and be last. Last totally sucks when you are a kid. Now I enter races and I expect to be last. I do it for new reasons. Runners never expect to win, so please stop asking me if I think I have a chance at winning. In my head I am laughing at you. I enter a race for the experience, the challenge (I push myself harder during a race than I do on a Sunday morning), to raise money for a cause and I like shiny things. Medals rule.
  8. Saying No. Remember how I said I needed to Yes more than No? That was true, that is how I made new friends that I actually like. Not that I didn’t like my old friends…well…but I really dig my new friends! ANYWAYS…I always felt like I couldn’t disappoint people. I needed to be a people pleaser. I now don’t feel that way. I don’t volunteer for everything under the sun now, I only volunteer for things that are meaningful to me. I only help people I like and I only give to things I believe in. It makes me sound selfish but actually, I do help and give WAY more than I ever did before and its awesome.
  9. Narcissists. I was married to one. I am related to a couple. I don’t fear them anymore. It took their power away and now my life is peaceful and AWESOME.
  10. Heights. I once hid in under my bed at camp to get out of the zipline required activity for all councillors. Murdo found me and talked me through it. I jumped into a 5 story freefall and didn’t die. I no longer fear heights…just ladders and hitting the ground.
  11. The Gym. Gyms are only for skinny people. True story. It takes courage for a fat girl to walk into that room. Everyone needs to start somewhere. The secret is to walk like you belong and before you know it, you do belong. Then one day, you are the skinny person working out like everyone else.

Fears I am still working on:

  1. Birds – irrational but true
  2. Mice – also irrational but true
  3. Expired food – which brings me to my big regret today.

First of all, in a work situation or with my friends I am very clear about my boundaries.

I WILL NEVER SNIFF OR TASTE EXPIRED FOOD, QUESTIONABLE FOOD OR UGLY FOOD

Never ever ever ever never!

I don’t care if the expiration date is today – I am NOT DOING IT.

At lunch I made a sandwich. I cut an avocado and spread half of it onto my bread, added cheese, tomato, sprouts and cucumber. It is my favorite sandwich. My first mistake was making lunch in the dark. It was raining and I don’t turn the lights on during the day because I shouldn’t have to. So even when its dark, I rebel and leave the lights off during the day. My second mistake was seeing dark spots on the avocado and thinking I could scoop around them. The last mistake was eating.

Avocados are not suppose to foam and sparkle like carbonated fruit in your mouth. It was wrong on SO MANY LEVELS. I broke my 3rd rule – DON’T EAT UGLY FOOD!

I have come so far and yet have many miles to go.

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Insecure, Incapable and Inferior

I am stuck and not sure how to move forward. I read this quote the other day,

It takes the same amount of energy to wish for something as it does to plan for it.

Eleanore Roosevelt

She was a smart cookie.

The outside me feels pretty darn good, nice nails, goodish hair, slimmer clothes, good stamina and great skin. I couldn’t say that a year and a half ago. I have made great Edmonton Tourist style progress and feel quite proud of what I have accomplished thus far. Lately, the inside me is just not feeling it.

I found out some information that would have made a HUGE difference to my life if I knew about it one year ago. And ya, I am a bit angry and bitter about it. So what do I do with this information now? The reasonable answer is to accept it, move forward and peaceably. However, it makes me feel insecure, incapable and inferior, ESPECIALLY inferior and that annoys me. I have a decent amount of self confidence on a normal day, lately…not so much.

This is affecting my day to day living and I need to snap out of it except:

  • Work feels weird, like I should be walking on egg shells or I’m outathere! Not by my choosing but it feels different like I am doing something wrong and no one will tell me. The crazy thing is, I work with people who have no problem telling me if I am doing something wrong, so maybe it is just perception on my part.
  • Friendships feel weird, like I am walking into a conversation about me and everyone stops talking. It’s not really happening like that…but it has that weird feeling.
  • University feels weird. I get my assignments, do them, get my marks back and I feel like I didn’t earn them. They are great marks but it feels weird. I have a major project due asap and I have re-done it 7 times. SEVEN TIMES! I am NOT that person who re-does stuff!! I do things once and hand it in, I will proof read it, miss a ton of stuff like Capitalization, get marked down for thatand still get a brilliant mark…but it feels weird.

It could be because what I WANT and what I HAVE just don’t measure up yet. I can SEE where I want to be and I am a good year away from being there. It was suggested to me to write down my goals and make a plan to get there. The goal I have, it is the plan that is difficult because so much of it is reliant on other people and their pieces that need to fall into place. It’s like waiting for rope drop at Disneyland. Time ticks away and I am anxious to start now!!!

I guess I need to write my plan. First of all, come hell or high water I NEED to get my 8th version of my project done, hand it in without over thinking it and wait for feedback. I feel like Mozart and his death requiem, how he couldn’t get it just right and it was killing him. Dramatic…absolutly, but you know how it is when something hangs over your head and you HAVE to get it done? Well that is this project. I have had a couple of set backs and -HOLD THE PHONE – I just had an epiphany. I know why I am having a hard time with this project! It just dawned on me. The person who I need to ultimately hand it in to announced her retirement and I am devastated. Extreme…absolutly, but for those who know her understand. Wow, I am crying just thinking about this being the reason. If anyone says you can’t work out problems by writing, they are liars. Writing is cathartic – well for me anyways.

Earlier today, I received an email at just the right time in my life. (I haven’t heard from my bestie in a while, the odd text message now and then. They just got back from a fabulous trip and I felt left out which is RIDICULOUS but true. It adds to the Insecure, Incapable and Inferior complex I am suffering from lately.) Anyways… I read this email. I was nominated for another blogger award. I understand that these are chain mail yadda yadda yadda, but she wrote THIS about me:

5.  The Edmonton Tourist.  The first thing I like about this blog is its premise — the idea of being a tourist in your life, taking more risks, being more aware and more stimulated and more curious, just like we are when we’re in a strange place or strange circumstances.  I love her dry humor and constant ability to reach for the silver lining, without being self-righteous about it.  E.T. has the kind of presence and poise about her — and her writing — that I suspect would draw me to her as a friend were we to ever meet.

Wow wow wow… I really needed to hear that today. Thank you so much That Precarious Gait! I am touched beyond words and I feel the same 🙂

So to end this post with a silver lining, I must list the women I am thankful for in my life. They have made a HUGE differnce for me over the past few days:

Barbie Arm, Chicken Hawk, Crayonmelterhoarder, Chatterbox, Life Coach and 1/2Marathon Coach. You ladies have the unique ability to know at just the right moment when I need some girly love and hugs. xoxo me