Tradition

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Every year I take a day off close to the holidays and spend it Christmas shopping. The hubs and I plan an entire day to get everything done. I was inspired to do this by my sister who loves shopping with several packages hanging from her arms. She always wanted the packages to be like hat boxes as seen in several holiday movies, but plastic bags made do for her fantasy.

We start the day off by going for breakfast, the most important and most delicious meal of the day. This year the destination is Cafe Bicyclette, a lovely French cafe in the heart of the French quarter here in Edmonton. I love their coffee and think its some of the best the city has to offer. The days they serve Eggs Benedict are my favourite so fingers crossed that will be on the menu with their grilled grapefruit!

Over breakfast, we make a list of shops we need to visit. This year its places like RAM, AMA, a great bookstore, a toy shop, a dollar store and Southgate Mall. I haven’t shopped at a mall in a very long time so this will be unusual for me. After shopping is complete, we head to Bon Ton Bakery for the best fruitcake, I am one of 7 people in the world who loves fruitcake, don’t judge. I will pick up some other treats for Christmas and then leave with the need to remortgage the house. Aside from that small detail, it is a lovely day.

The thing that is different this year is I don’t have a list for me. There is nothing I want or need other than grandbabies and those will be a few years down the road. The hubs and I are not exchanging gifts this year because we have changed. I credit 738 consecutive days of meditation for this change. I don’t desire things like I used to. I much rather experience things. Life has become a way to experience things rather than get things. Unlike previous years, I don’t have a list of goals. There are a few things I want to do but mostly I want to spend 2019 being present and see what unfolds.

I imagine the Universe has many things planned out for me but I have only one thing.

  1. Make memories with my family.

Sounds simple but also exciting. I have never been as focused on being present before and this is also a credit to the shift I made. I plan to use my inner compass to guide and dictate where and what I will do. I anticipate it being the best year yet.

My Technology Crisis

Breath, Eyes, Memory
Breath, Eyes, Memory (Photo credit: wpwend42)

I am in the middle of a technological crisis.

I was reading Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations by J.M. Bryson. I mostly find this interesting because I love Strategic Planning, well…planning in general. There was a word (Governance) where I knew the meaning but it seemed out of context with the section I was reading. I pressed my finger on the word thinking the dictionary would pop up and give me another meaning that would fit the context.

Expect for one small problem.

My text book is the old fashion paper kind, not an electronic e-reader. The dictionary was never going to appear. Nor could I highlight with my finger and add notes.

I realized I have become one of the converted. This hit home today when my Book club Padawan texted me with a title of the next book. I couldn’t find it for download in Canada. Which is stupid because it is ELECTRONIC – meaning digital, it should be the easiest way to find the book. I looked online for it through my libraries (I have access to the Univeristy of Alberta and MacEwan as well as the City of Edmonton Public Library) and there were no e-copies available.

Do you know what this means? I will have to DRIVE my CAR and go into a STORE hoping they will have the book I want to read. I may perhaps have to drive to a few locations before I find it, well, no I won’t because I will search their data base at the store to find a copy. However, what if I have to order it in? Then it must travel to get to me. Ask me how annoyed I am? If I am going to be searching all of the place for this book, I will CALL the independents first. I HATE PHONE CALLS, why can’t I just text them? I will call local booksellers like Greenwoods or Audrey’s before I hit Chapters and Indigo because A) support independent  B) Chapters doesn’t have an e-book copy so I am punishing them.

I have learned something about me through this process. I prefer to shop online for regular stuff, who are we kidding, all stuff except shoes and handbags, and diamonds. I will buy on line but I prefer the experience of being in the store for those items. Shopping on-line is mostly a great experience for me. I did 99% of my Christmas Shopping at www.thinkgeek.com (by the way, if you are thinking of buying me a gift, I’d like the Tardis Tea Pot) Sure I preferred to buy that stuff for me, but I have raised young geeks who need that stuff too. We are in short supply of geek stores in Edmonton. So on-line it is!

Last week I bought office furniture for my new gig. I loved the process of having it delivered to me, or so I thought. I ordered everything and then sometime today a single chair was delivered to my front yard. Did UPS ring the door bell? No. Did Someone call me to say it was coming? No. Was I home today? YES! All stinking DAY. I wouldn’t know my new chair was in my front yard if I didn’t have to walk my daughter to an event at school tonight. Thanks UPS for the email at 9:00 PM telling me you delivered my chair. I never would have known otherwise. This to me is a shopping on-line FAIL.

I can’t wait to buy a 3D printer. I can order my cool stuff on-line, then print it off in the comfort of my office. I may have to then assemble it but I am great with Swedish Directions, Ikea doesn’t scare me. Anything is better than random items spread all over my lawn. This is why I love E-Books.

You pick the book, download it into my e-reader and start reading INSTANTLY. I LOVE IT. It is part of the reason I have read so many books this year.

I need one of two things to happen to me, I need a bookstore to open up down the street from me OR have every book available in epub format. Let the flaming begin, but my house has way less stuff since I have changed everything to digital format, photos, music, movies, and books. I have freed up rooms of space! I don’t think I am asking for too much…I just want a copy of Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. 

And a dictionary installed into my paper text books.

And a 3D printer.

And a million dollars.

That’s not asking too much.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Favorite Alternative to Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012

Appreciative Audience
Appreciative Audience (Photo credit: freelancing god)

Let’s be honest here for a minute Oprah, you know I love you but unless I am part of the studio audience that gets the lovely gifts from your favorite things episode, we both know I ain’t gettin’ any of those things under the tree this year NOR am I gifting them. Why you ask? Well Sweetheart, I don’t have sponsors (yet – I am leaving my options open) and I am not on Forbes wealthy women list either. I will give you this, you have fiiiiiiiiiine taste and I will leave it at that. I decided to give my readers some Tourist Options when it comes to your Favorite Things List 2012

  1. Lafco Soap Set for $238. Ummm no, it’s soap and ONLY 14 bars of it. for the same amount of money I can get a lovely key pendant from Tiffany &Co. Soap that smells nice is lovely. Dove smells nice and for $1.99 you can have a bath size bar! Dove also sends a positive message to women. Now I love Dove but for that special occasions when you need a little pampering? Put Bay leaves in your bathwater. It is relaxing and I am sure your granny will let you take one when you are at her house for Thanksgiving Dinner this week.
  2. Octane Fitness Q37ci Elliptical Trainer
    $3,099, now $2,789 with coupon (expires Dec 31, 2012) That is an awfully expensive clothes hanger. Walmart sells a bundle of hangers for $3.99 – plastic and functional.
  3. Jetson E-Bike $1800 but there is a coupon code if you click the link. It is a very nice bike. I like my bike to be a bit more functional and less pretty. Who are we kidding, I won’t ever ride the thing in the first place. I’d rather swim, walk or run. Bus pass is a nice green alternative $89 for the month depending which city you live in.
  4. Giro Sport Design Reverb Helmet $48. Now IF you give a bike as a gift, give a helmet. It is the law here but maybe not where you live. Safety First People! However, a bike helmet will look stupid with your bus pass so may I suggest a toque? My family’s toque of choice is the Jayne Hat (Firefly Geek alert) but any great hat will do! My sister will knit it for the cost of a ball of yarn slightly more maybe depending on how happy she is when you ask her. Let’s say $5.00, I am sure she won’t mind.
  5. H2O+ Marine Spa Gift Set $98  with coupon code. I think it is worth it. I use this stuff because when I stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel it was the hotel soap and shampoo. This stuff is so fabulous I paid $40 for shampoo when I left (after hoarding all the samples they leave in the room – and chocolate) So I will take advantage of this deal. the only alternative I can think of is actually going to stay at the Hotel in Disneyland and if you factor in airfare, theme park tickets and food, $98 is looking like a sweet deal! Buy it.
  6. Ralph Lauren Cable V-Neck Sweater   First of all, this is SUCH an Oprah sweater, don’t you think? For $198 I can buy 4 sweaters from the Gap, but they say GAP not RALPH LAUREN. That is a big deal to some people. I will wear a sweater forever and I am sure it feels fabulous. But I think no, not this year. Gap it is! $50.
  7. Coach Puffers  $458 for a Coach jacket. I am all about Coach but I shop Factory Coach because I can get 3 purses for $199. I don’t think $500 for a down jacket is that bad, except it better be rated for -40 and I think it’s not. I mean it’s Coach. It’s not meant to be functional. Down Jacket at the Sport Check $200 AND rated for cold Canadian Winters.
  8. Bougainvillea Bangles $31 sure they are nice but my sister can get those at the dollarama 4 for $1. How often are you going to wear them anyways?
  9. Tory Burch Michelle Tote $395. A great bag is worth it in my books but you can always get great bags at Winners. They had Tory Burch Michelle last week for $125. It’s Winners, go often.
  10. Julep Nail Polish Set $168? I don’t pay that for a mani AND a pedi. OPI $25 set of 5 colours you will only use once.
  11. Tusk Capri Double Zip Checkbook Clutch $138 for a bag that holds your wallet stuff and your phone to put in your bag? Whaaaaaa? If your purse is that big, re-think OR only buy bags with pockets on the side for your cell phone and wallet – all great bags have them! If yours isn’t a great bag, dollarama has makeup bags for $1 AND they come in fashionable-ish patterns. The best part? It holds your wallet, your phone and lipstick! You still have to fish around for it, but you were anyways for $138!

I am not going to go through Oprah’s entire list of 60 items, I think you get my point. Please feel free to contact me if you need an alternative for an Oprah gift, I am only too happy to help! Now, lets look at how much I saved you:

Oprah Top 11 Gift Total = $5787

The Edmonton Tourist’s Oprah alternatives = $516.98

That is a total savings of $5270.02!!

You’re welcome.

Wanted: New Gay Husband

My parents did an excellent job picking out my God Mother. My God Mum is me but older. We both are in university taking and studying leadership, we both have the same taste in shoes, we both shop the same way, we both have passion for the work we do, we both have amazing kids and we think the same way. We understand what it means to slip on a pair of fabulous boots and have the zipper go up the calf. We get the one size does not fit all. Thanks mom and dad, you did good!

My God Mum had a gay best friend who would go shopping with her. The kind that like to look at fabulous shoes and give commentary of purses and men. I also had a gay best friend who would do the same but both of these fabulous men are no longer in our lives.

I do enjoy men but mostly I think they are stupid. Not in a bad way stupid… but in the way that they just don’t get women, or events or things! They don’t see life the way women see life. I have a straight male friend who tells me about how happy he is and I hear about his relationship and life and I just blink. Fantastic that you are happy and fantastic that things are great for you but what you just said makes no sense to me. I need a Gay best friend who can tell me why he is thinking that way. I need a gay man who will blink with me and we would discuss why the straight friend thinks he is happy so I would understand. I need that bridge, the person who gets both sides. I miss my friend. He moved across the country and things have never made sense since.

When I was shopping with my God Mum, I picked up an adorable little black bag the size of my fist. It was  black, beaded and had a metal clasp that held the two sides shut, with a hinge at the bottom. My God Mum said, “my gay husband would call this a condom bag because that is all that fits in it.”

True, it is perfect for that one night stand. Throw in cab fare for the next morning and a lipstick and BAM, you are set for a night on the town.

I miss that. I miss commiserating over men with a man who thinks more like me but understands what make men tic. So I am putting out a wanted ad.

Wanted:

Gay Male, 40ish. Must love shopping, dining, style and laughing. Must be great at gossip but not the mean kind – just the newsy kind. Must have job and could finance own trips to great cities and split costs. Assets include, wicked sense of humor, great Cole Haans and smart. Must love animals and children or say they do but lying is okay. Wine drinker a must!

Competition open until found.

The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in List

My buddy Paul sang this for me today:

That’s right, shameless plug, I am having a birthday. Half of 90, so I guess it’s official – I have reached the middle-age plateau.

There are a few birthdays that stick out for me, only a few because as you get older the memory fades and everything blends together. I cannot for the life of me remember what I did on my 40th. But I remember my 21st like it was yesterday. I was a camp counsellor and was thrown off the pier by my pals. All the little campers made me pictures and the I received a special camp cake – it was gross but oh so special!

I remember my 16th birthday. I sat on the steps of the paramount theatre in a mini skirt to watch Risky Business, they over old seats so I sat on the sticky floor with my best friend. We went of for drinks – the alcohol kind and I had a Chi-Chi. My first underage public libation – good times.

I remember my 43rd very well. My kiddos brought me breakfast in bed that was cooked! When they were little they were not allowed to turn on the stove so they made “egg bread” soaking bread in raw egg – the preamble to french toast. My kids have always been so thoughtful.

Typically I have always been on vacation for my birthday. Not this year, I’m just back. I share this day with Fess Parker – Davy Crockett and of course it is Dead Elvis Day. All Elvis All Day – bring it ON!

I often indulge myself on my birthday, I never use to but I treat myself now to only do things I want to do. This includes NOT HAVING A PARTY. I hate parties. But I love spending time with a few well chosen chums and loved ones. I love little surprises like birthday fairies leaving treats on my porch without ringing the bell, magical coffee appearing and free junk. Sephora sent me an email to pick up lip balm from them today – free! Sure it will be a tiny sample, but it’s free!

Today I will go for a bike ride, spend some birthday money on an umbrella stand for my Mary Poppins Umbrella (Thanks Mom and Dad!!!), have dinner at the Keg, go Fringing, eat cake pops and perhaps read in the tub with candles and bubbles up to my eyeballs.

There is one thing I want for my birthday. I wish on a star for it every year. I have told the universe about it. I will likely never happen, but I keep hoping. This might actually be the year. However I am patient and can wait another 45 years for it. I will never speak it out loud because that will ruin it. People who know me well will be able to figure it out. When it happens I will cry. It costs nothing. There is not a dollar amount to be had, yet it would be priceless to me. I tear up thinking about it. Sigh…..

Meanwhile, I am thankful for so many wonderful friends and family, my cup is really over flowing. Now that I am 45 have figured out what is important to me, what I dislike and will no longer tolerate and what I cannot live without. Well… I could live without it but I choose not to. Here is my list, The Edmonton Tourist Birthday Indulgences that are indulged in all year because once you hit 39 birthdays happen quicker and there is not enough time to get them all in list:

  1. Long lovely chats with friends. I have a few friends who I NEED to spend time with. I need it like I need air to breath. I will stop everything to answer their call, text or email. I will not give them up in spite of how crazy they make me. I love them and they love me. I will defend them to the death and I know they have my back too. In fact I have had war of words and made enemies with people because of my need to defend and protect these 3 people. I won’t say who they are, they know it and that’s all that matters.
  2. Music. I had lost music for a while and I blame myself when I want to blame that fellow who TOOK my stereo to his office to use for the switch board and never replaced it until a decade later when I received my first iPod. But really…I should have told him to fek off and demand music in my life not TV. I am  not a TV watcher. I watch movies and news and even not so much news because I read my news on social networking sites. But Music is my passion, it lifts me, it relaxes me, transports me to other places, dimension and feelings. I have everything from Disney to ZZ Top in my rotation and tons of other genres in between – except Michael Jackson. I never enjoyed his music, even when he was a black dude. His “woos” and “aaahhhhs” make me want to punch him in the face. I endured 2 showings of Captain EO and that is 40 minutes of my life I will never get back. NEVER. Today will be about some Disney ride soundtracks and park loops so I can reminisce about birthdays past and future.
  3. Bikes. in high school I would ride my bike from Sherwood Park to Edmonton through the river valley. My babies stopped me for a while, mostly because of cash to have the proper safety equipment. I gave up my career to be the best mom I could for them, but that meant giving up other stuff so they could stay healthy and have things like food and shelter. I’m going for a bike ride today and I cannot wait! I’m taking Chatterbox’s bike because Genetic offsprings bike is too big and he doesn’t share. I have no idea where I am going but that is part of the adventure of cycling.
  4. Books. I am reading my 30th book of the year – not including text books and books for my classes. 30 books for pleasure. |I have expanded my genre horizon and tried books that scared me before. I read books that bored me, scared me and horrified me. I read books that made me weep, made me explore my sexual side and taught me new lessons. I read books that made me want to travel to distant places and stay away from places. Today will be spent with Steve Jobs. I am half way through his biography and am shocked, enthralled, inspired and motivated.
  5. Arts. Today is about dramatic Arts. I will fringe today. I haven’t been able to get to the art gallery in quite some time, but i am going on Monday. I write daily on my book, blog and in letters to friends. I am working on a painted piece for a friend. I draw, sketch and paint on a regular basis. Being creative releases the ugly and keeps me smart and focused. I use it to take my mind off anxiety causing events, to be closer to people from my past and present and people who are no longer with me. i do it because i think of them and in return, they inspire me.
  6. Snuggles. There is nothing finer than having your kiddos meet you at the airport and hug you in public, except when they let you kiss them on the cheek.
  7. Laughter. I had lost this for a bit during my depression. I would laugh, but never hard. I missed it. I get the occasional note or text from a friend that makes me howl and brings tears to my eyes. Keeping it light and silly is fun for me. Now that I have climbed out of the dark abyss I am laughing again. Love it!

Seven things that I indulge in always. I know the list will grow as I figure out stuff. I indulge in things that make me smile and say no to those things I hate, that I use to do because it was expected. Well I am I 45 now, time to put on purple lipstick and get my cranky pants on because just because YOU expect something from me doesn’t mean I will indulge you. Find the things that make you happy – they are events, circumstances not stuff you buy, things you make people do. Having someone do something for you un asked and uninvited is lovely beyond words. I have discovered my life is to short to waste on things that have no meaning for me. 45, my life is half done – if I am lucky, so I will spend the next 45 years extending my 64 days of awesome into a life time of awesome.

I need to share what one of my awesome friends sent me for my birthday. He lives in Argentina and we share a love of vintage animation. His humor comes through in  translation, Mr. Google translator is our friend to keep the conversation going. Yet Mr. Google is not the best at helping us, it gets the point across. This little song he made for me made me laugh. I can visualize the animation sequence that needs to go with it.

Vocaroo Voice Message.

 

My life is rich and full with family and friends. Happy Birthday to me! I am one very lucky girl.

 

 

 

The sad reality, is I am coffee lazy.

*Warning to all you enviro-enthusiasts out there. You may wish to advert your eyes*

I just realized I am incredibly lazy.

This is a real lightbulb moment.  Self-awareness can be painful, yet it is an important step in growth.

I woke up this morning, reaching for a k-cup for my Keurig and I discovered the coffee drawer that holds REAL powerful triple x bold high test k-cups of awesomeness was empty. All I had left was decaf and Vanilla French Roast. In my world neither of those count as coffee. I gave the vanilla french a try once, but quite frankly I hate flavored coffee. To flavour coffee in the manner to which I prefer, it must be after the coffee is made. I really do not enjoy the beans being altered. The taste of coffee in it’s purest form is delicious. To add milk is divine. To add Vanilla flavour then becomes an exquisite addition.

So now I had a problem of epic proportions. How am I going to fill my giant Mary Poppin’s Mug?

In my pantry are no less than 3 pounds of coffee beans. I have Verona French Roast, Organic Fair Trade Artisan Nicaragua French Roast and Fair Trade Certified Italian Roast. Of the three, I prefer Verona. The coffee I enjoy most is in your face screaming I am Coffee . It is a well documented fact I prefer Starbucks Coffee to grocery store “coffee”. In my opinion those brands are acid in my mouth. I do not enjoy the acidic nature of those blends.

keurig coffee filter
keurig coffee filter (Photo credit: mondays child)

Now, I have no K-cups for my Keurig, but I do have a My K-Cup. It is a little basket that makes a cup of coffee using the freshly ground coffee I have in my pantry. This is how lazy I am:

  1. I actually thought twice about making coffee or DRIVING to Starbucks to have someone make one for me.
  2. I made coffee using My K-Cup yesterday and now the basket must be cleaned before I continue on to a fresh cup this morning.
  3. I need to pull out the coffee grinder, but that is ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK OF MY PANTRY!
  4. I need to grind the perfect amount of coffee or grind an entire bag and commit to using it every day. It’s messy and a process
  5. Once I grind the coffee I have to use My K-Cup daily and that means it must be cleaned everyday. EVERYDAY PEOPLE! I am on vacation!

The up side is, my Keurig makes a damn fine cup of coffee. Add steamed milk and its a party of divine in my cup.  Now I am sure there is an inventor out there who can assist me.

This is what I want. I want disposable filters for my Keurig. It would be less waste than an actual k-cup. It is bad enough that I need to take the housing apart to use a My K-Cup. Amazon sells an Ekobrew for $16.99. This filter doesn’t need me to disassemble the housing before brewing. I like that, but I still need to clean out wet and soggy coffee grounds.

I did google “paper filters for keurig” and I was led to this page.   Now I was a little bit excited for a moment until I watched the how-to video. It would require me to be an origami specialist. If i am too lazy to clean out My K-Cup, you can me damn sure i am too lazy to fold a filter before grinding and making a cup of coffee. Time is money people!! What gets me is, you need to purchase 50 reusable cups to hold the filter and then special lids. Really? Why can’t I just use my K-cup Basket? Because of coffee explosion. Seriously? Then there is a mess to clean up too? AND the possibility of grounds in my coffee. I am not camping – I have no desire to strain cowboy coffee through my teeth every morning. When did the perfect cup of coffee become so complicated?

Obviously the solution for me is to go to the store, BUY several boxes of K-Cups and be vigilant about restocking. OR as I often tell other princess’ who complain about things “Suck it up Buttercup” and get it out of your head that your time is too important to make yourself a cup of coffee with all the tools you have at your disposal and use up your 3lbs of coffee that is delicious and fabulous.

FINE I will, but crimany crickets it will be painful, or as I like to call it “Personal Growth”.

 

 

Cruising with a Side of Sophistication

Way back in the early 80’s when I had big hair, a tail (omg I know…) tight jeans and leg warmers…again – I know…   I would cruise for fun. Living in Sherwood Park – the ‘burb of Edmonton – I can tell you there was not much to do if you didn’t bowl or curl. I did neither unless it was for PhysEd. My friends and I walked endlessly around Sherwood Park. I have never been as fit since those days.

For curiosity sake, I went to map my runs and plotted out our typical route. On an average day we would log 11km. (  <—- see that number? weird isn’t it?) 11km would take us past all the houses that held boys in it that we were hoping to glimpse at. Of course we would DIE if we actually saw or talked to one of these boys. We were much more comfortable talking to strange guys. Not that they were strange and creepy…okay Bob was, but the rest were okay! This is what we did without wheels. No movies, no job, swimming would ruin our hair and makeup and god forbid someone would see us in our bathing suits! OH to look that fabulous now.

Then one day, my sister (ok, she isn’t really MY sister, she is my mom’s sister but we were closer in age and in fact still extremely close) bought a Gold Pontiac Firebird. It was smokin’! She would let us pile in and cruise around. ACTUAL CRUISING! We thought we were all that and more…you know what I mean…

The tunes were cranked, Loverboy Get Lucky blasting out the windows and we would just smile at the boys….. ahhhh good times, good times…

Since my cruising days are over, hard to look cool in a Kia Rondo – Mom car ( in my defense I need the leg and head room for the boy – he is tall and so are his friends and grocery room – teen boys are EATING MACHINES) I have resigned myself to just looking at cars.

I love an Aston Lola, Jag, Beemer or Mercedes. I’m not fussy. I think muscle cars are for middle age men. Women like me need elegance and sophistication. Something that makes my hair and nails look good. Something that shows off my MKors as I slide my legs out of the car. Something that says “she has it all going on”. Kia Rondo says “mom”.

As luck would have it, I was at the Canada Day family festivities yesterday when the chicken needed to be picked up. We have food catered because we are busy people and do not want to spend the day slaving away in the kitchen on our day off – if we had a day off. Lots of us worked on Canada Day. My Sister – who is really my Aunt – T is what I always called her…always. T said to her hubs “take me to pick up the chicken in the Mercedes” pppppppppppprrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

She said Mercedes. T’s brand new car. I could smell the newness from the living room. I said, I’ll go with you. So we grabbed the keys and went.

She showed me all the luciousness outside and inside and all the bits and bobs it can do. She hasn’t figured it all out yet but who cares. The important thing was we had a good hair day going on so we would look FAB.

Proof we were in the car. This thing was awesome. It had 2 sunroofs – front and back. Warning lights to let you know if you are too close to the car in front. Camera and Video screen to see what behind you  – nothing was see?

We took a “wrong turn” and had to go the long way to pick up the food… how disappointing. I checked my self out in every mirror to see how I looked driving in a Mercedes. I looked FABULOUS! I must get myself one. Now before that happens, I need to either stop working in non profit OR Tell George to hurry up and make an honest woman out of me. Stupid Future ex husbands…

Here is the slide show of this cars awesomeness – your welcome.

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Running Swag is Where it’s At!

Speedy Gonzales
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t speak Spanish, I am afraid of mice, BUT I might be related to Speedy Gonzales. I wish…

Last May I started training for the Edmonton Intact Marathon in August 2011. I completed that goal with less than stellar results, but I COMPLETED it. I started training for the Calgary Scotia Bank Marathon May 27th, 2012 because I have something to build on. My pace last May was roughly 14min/km. ZOINKS! Today was my 2 week of training. I started at 10min/km which thrilled me. I could look at how far I have come. Today it was 8.66min/km. Unreal, that isn’t even running. I thought I had slowed my pace because I wasn’t even puffing.

How did I do this? Well I shall tell you me secret….

I bought running swag

Shocking, I know! It has nothing to do with being hydrated, or eating right or getting enough sleep because I am doing NONE of that! In fact, that makes me laugh!  HA! <——–  see? Well, maybe I am unconsciously and maybe it has become habit now. Maybe now I realize food is fuel not therapy, but I am not paying much attention to that. I owe all my success to Running Swag.

Let me tell you how it came about so YOU can have success too!

  1. First of all, I run walk on an indoor track. 9 laps=1km no I don’t get dizzy but I do go into a hypnotic trance. I has spending all my time and energy counting stupid laps.  Today I bought a Tally Counter. It isn’t as awesome as it sounds because it is ginormous. But it works and that is enough for me! I tested it out on 3km today. I forgot to click it twice and remembered when I got to the window rather than the start/finish line of the oval. That’s okay, it’s not like it was for a timed lap or anything, it is just keeping track of how many times I pass around.
  2. Did you know that running socks are special? I didn’t either until I started with this shenanigans. They are designed to reduce wick moisture away to prevent blisters. As well as other stuff that i don’t care about. I don’t want blisters OR burning feet…. that isn’t fun because that is ALL you can think about. Well, I had these fabulous CoolMax socks from the RunningRoom. There was a Left sock and a Right sock – I kid you not. Who knew? The why of it has something to do with the arch support padding yadadadad… I wasn’t listening when they told me. I just didn’t want blisters. Those socks from last year (all 3 pairs) now are only good for pedicures (yes there are holes in the toes). So I pulled out the socks I got in my swag bag from the marathon. I ran crawled for Kids Sport and these were a thank you from that organization. Well, let me tell you something. THESE SOCKS KICK ASPHAULT! I need to find more and pronto! So I lied, I can speak un poco de español. Yes there is a Left and a Right but this is to show off the ugliness of the Black, Yellow and White to it’s full potential…. I know, I know…you are jealous, I can tell.
  3. I don’t wear shorts….you’re welcome. But walking in jeans is just not okay. I was working out in my yoga pants but those just weren’t cutting it. I was in Winners one day noticing I could shop in regular ladies wear – I KNOW! YAY ME! I found a pair of Nike DriFit pants that fit. Again… I KNOW! I TOO AM EXCITED! I now am thinking about getting capris of the Dri-Fit nature and wearing girl shirts. My tech shirts are mens and it just doesn’t fit right in the girl area…. I am sure once I get these items I will be moving EVEN FASTER!
  4. The other bit of swag I now use is a glass water bottle. Yes it is heavy, but at the track I don’t have to carry it. I hate the taste of plastic water and I am eco concious…or try to be. I am trying to make my body use to the fact that I can go at least 3km without water. THEN drink. Why? I don’t want to carry a a water belt for the race. We shall see. I have heard horror stories about water stations running out of water…that’s not good. OR worse – cups. I will think about it. Calgary is rated one of the top 12 races in North America (of course when you are in the top 12, you are likely 12th).
  5. I have a broken window on my iphone. The screen isn’t cracked but there is a largish piece missing out of the top right hand corner. I use it to listen to music which makes me fast! In the olden days (last year) I used the girl cleavage to hold the phone…if youve got ’em use ’em! The sweat moisture will kill the phone, so I bought an armband. I am SURE this is the reason for my fastness.

There is my swag list that promises lightening speed! Here is my want list so I can break some course records.

  1. I currently have super ugly hot pink and black Nike air. I love them. Sadly they are over loved and only have a few more miles left on them. I am happy to announce this years style is not hot pink! it is purple…hmmm not much better, but it is better. I know for a FACT new shoes help me walk faster. It is like having springs on your feet.
  2. I want a Nike+ Fuelband…. I don’t really know all the stuff it does but it is a gadget and I am all about gadgets! Besides, it might make me FASTER!
  3. iPhone 4GS I have a 3G no S There are NO LONGER RUNNING APPS THAT WORK with this old phone. I have do things the old fashion way…look at the clock.
  4. A headband.   HA! <————– see I laughed again. There is no way I would wear a head band. Although at camp I often sported a bandana on my head due to bed-head and bad hair. However, now that I have flair and panache HA! <————- again I laugh… I think I should sport an Axl Rose-esq head band – NOT Mike Reno type if you are wondering.

I am pretty sure these items will make me SUPER FAST. Yes it will…quit arguing with me.

The Best Part of Winter is Socks

A giant box of home-made socks landed on the lunch table at work last week. You may know the kind: Knitted by a Grandma, Too thick to fit into shoes, crazy left-over wool bits that make for fun patterns, the kind of socks made with love.

Pollypocket’s Newfie Nann knitted up these beauties and send them west to her lovely granddaughter. These are not small socks and would never fit our young students. The best part of these socks are the fact they are made for people with giant feet – like myself. I have a dainty size 10. Sexy in all things footwear! HA! Giant Feet make every piece of footwear look humongous. Polly asked the staff if anyone wanted a pair. I took two pairs, one for me and one for Chatterbox, thinking they would be great bed socks for cold Edmonton winter nights. I was right. I wore them the first night and wanted more. These socks are so delicious and cozy, I imagined wearing a pair around the house as slippers. I even had thoughts drift to the time I was a camp counsellor and wore thick cozy socks in my Birkenstocks. That’s right, I was one of THOSE people. Socks and sandals, and it gets better. I wore long underwear under shorts. Why you might ask? Because my legs were cold. Usually my pants were drying from some water activity during the day, so I would slip into long johns and pull shorts over top to be decent. I would then pull on my favorite pair of socks and slip them into my birkies. Classy! Combine that with “camping hair” that I covered up with a bandana and I was the belle of the ball!

In 1988 I paid $8 for a pair of cable knitted socks from Woodward’s. $8 in 1988!!! That is about $50 in todays money, is it not? Those socks lasted me 20 years. so in the grand scheme of things, they were a typical Woodward’s $1.49 day deal! I loved how those socks made me feel. There wasn’t a seam inside to bother my toes, they weren’t scratchy or itchy and I loved the cables. Newfie Nann socks give me that same feeling, only I didn’t pay $8 for them.

There is nothing quite like the comfy secure feeling you get from socks. Or at least, I feel that way. Lately at work, I have found I need that feeling.

This school year has been different from others. Usually the school year is filled with children being diagnosed with something and then planning for them to over come or support what ever learning disability they may encounter. This year is not like that. It is filled with young ones ages 4 and 5, needing support of hugs and kisses. Its harder this year than any other. These young ones are feeling the effects of less food at home, less warmth at home,and less clothes at home. It makes me want to take them home, give them a bath and warm jammies with comfy bed socks and clean sheets, tuck them into bed with a snack of warm cookies and milk and read them Goodnight Moon. Then kiss them on the forehead and leave a night light on while the fall asleep knowing they are safe and secure in comfy socks and a warm bed.

I was one of those lucky kids who had warm socks and clean jammies. I had sheets that smelled of fabric softener and a teddy to cuddle with. I had a mommy and a daddy who read to me and kissed me goodnight. I had a bed time snack so my tummy wouldn’t wake me up at night and I slept through the night knowing my mommy and daddy were down the hall ready to keep me safe.

I took one of my little charges to our storage closet today. She came to school without socks. It is winter here in Edmonton, complete with snow that is here to stay for 6 months. We found some socks and she got to pick out kind she wanted most. Thick White Socks! Not the dinosaur socks, and not the pink floral socks. She chose WARM socks and acted as though I gave her the keys to the kingdom. She was so proud of her socks, she went and showed the other teachers her new socks. At the end of the day, she was ready to give me back my socks. I told her they were hers to keep FOREVER. I was rewarded with a smile that would melt the snow outside and keep it away for the winter. It is moments like these that make me love my job and hate my job all at the same time, all because I gave away a pair of socks that cost $1.

I am going to buy more socks. Thick, warm socks in various colours because I am sure there will be more days than not, where I will need to give away socks. This is how I will pay forward my deliciously thick Newfie Nann socks. Thanks Nann! Thanks Polly!