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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Long Journey

Our blog is normally a happy place where we meet and share our lives. I like to be happy. But today, I'm having difficulty with happiness.

I spent the day at the hospital yesterday. My dad, who recently finished six rounds of chemo, had developed a fever that wouldn't stay under control and his hemoglobin was very low. A transfusion was definitely in order. As the rich, red blood dripped out of the bag and into his veins, I waited for him to spring back to his normal self, as he has done twice before. But the fever kept him down and prevented him from being released. He's staying until a cause can be found.
I've been very positive and full of faith through these months. Dad, also, has been in a very good place and my mum has been a solid rock. But last night, as I lay in bed and remembered riding on the crossbar of his bike as a little girl and pictured him building things last summer, a tool belt buckled around his slim waist, I cracked. The dark of night is not always a friendly time, and our worst fears can seemingly come to life.

Today, I will focus on teaching and gather my wandering thoughts. I will go to the hospital after school and be strong. I will remember what I believe in my heart of hearts and lean on my source of life. As Mum reminded me on the phone this morning, the fat lady hasn't sung yet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Before and after

Today I was persuaded to join a group of women for some fitness. An hour and a half with a group personal trainer. I wasn’t sure what to expect but decided to do the ‘sticky beak’ thing and check it out.

A bunch of women, 1 toddler in pram, and 1 very fit looking personal trainer….hot, sunny day, blue skies, sunblock, and waterbottles all round. We walked about a kilometre, and did 15 hill sprints. I nearly died at this point. I think I’m related to a beetroot somewhere in my lineage. A very juicy, glowy, beetroot cum couch potato. By the time we got back to the studio, I was dripping. Exercise for some of us, is not pretty. For the next half of the session, we powerkicked and speedkicked and did situps with speed punching, and stretches and all sorts of other wonderful ligament enhancing things. It really was a lot of fun! No, serious, it was! I’ve decided that I REALLY like kicking things. I must remember to do one of these sessions more often after I’ve had a bad week! Deliciously therapeutic.

At the end of the session I had a look at some of the club’s advertising brochures, As i gazed enviously at a photo of a lady in some scanty exercise gears, I glibly passed the comment that if the personal trainer cum owner could guarantee that I’d look like the model in the photo after working out at his studio, then I’d definitely be back….the trainer glanced at the photo and looked somewhat surprised and offended. I guess I should’ve read on further…..I had been admiring the “BEFORE”, rather than the “AFTER” photo!!! Ahem…. Different league. Obviously.

On that note, I won’t be posting any BEFORE and AFTER shots. Be very grateful! Instead, here is a pic of this wonderful bright sky we saw on the way home tonight. We were stopped at the traffic lights, and the sun was illuminating the sky around this big fluffy cloud.
Now, THAT was beautiful!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Holiday

Today we went back to school after Spring Break. One more teacher announced her pregnancy - she is number FIVE, and I happen to know that there is one more lurking out there!
But I digress.
Many students were bubbling over with tales of their exciting vacations. Airports, hotels, and exotic Asian locations. And where did I go? Well, I drove for about an hour to a run-down camp, where I spent three happy days creating!
I know that this isn't everyone's idea of wonderful, but I like it. I go twice a year with a motley group of women. We sit and scrapbook until all hours of the night. We get fed delicious meals. The phone doesn't ring; in fact, it's difficult to get cell coverage there. Nobody needs to be looked after. We sleep in funny little rooms with velvet paintings on the wall. Although it's not exactly gorgeous (despite the lakeside location) or exotic, we are as happy as clams. And let me tell you, clams are extremely happy creatures!

I completed a number of pages and started an Olympic mini-album.
Ellen was there,
and so was Barb.
Can't wait till next November, when I get to go back!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Flagging Spirits

While you and your Aussie friends bask in the sun, we in the north are indeed springing back to life. This is my favourite time to drive around Vancouver, as many of the streets are lined with Japanese plum trees in full bloom. Frothy and pink. Mmmm! (I know, I used this photo already, but it's so pretty!)
And as I drive, my friendly flag waves happily in the breeze. Sounds nice, doesn't it!
There are still tons of Canadian flags waving on the streets here in Vancouver. As Jodi in Blaine, Washington diplomatically suggested, we can take the flags off our cars, now that the Olympics are over.
But many of us decided to keep them on for the Paralympics. We don't want the Paralympians to feel left out!
And besides, this patriotic thing is kind of new for us. We're liking it! Don't you think it makes my car look happier?

Summer’s tail

I hear Spring is on its way up North….here Down South, we are supposedly heading towards Autumn. However, I can’t say that I have noticed too much difference in the weather yet.


Many Ozzies can still be found basking in the hot sun most days.


Though some prefer the shade…



Many are still feeling the effects of the heat -



It sure knocks the stuffing outta ya!


Some find the heat is a good excuse to take it easy…



Whilst others blame the heat for their increased appetite.



And some others manage to find the motivation to exercise and stay slim…




But the rest of us have already begun stockpiling for the cooler months ahead!



Life’s gooooood!




Saturday, March 6, 2010

My own little champion!

It’s not quite comparable to the Olympics, but my son gave an amazing violin performance this week. I was one proud mama!

Here is a little snippet from his performance. Unfortunately, the wee monomicrophone on my camera doesn’t do him justice, but you’ll just have to imagine the notes soaring up into a huge auditorium.

He’s 12yrs old.

Click on the link below. Choose either the large (.wav file) or small (.mp3 file) download. Don’t forget to turn up your sound! Hope you ENJOY it ! :)





Thursday, March 4, 2010

Olympic Reminiscing

They're over. And now we get back to the business of being reserved Canadians.
The Winter Games were an extraordinary time. They took us all by surprise. No one could have predicted this huge, enormous, gigantic outpouring of enthusiasm, patriotism, excitement, exuberance. We're just not like that!
I was reminded of being at the U2 concert last October. There was something in the air; maybe it was the music that went straight to our hearts. The audience was joyful and filled with something special that I'd rarely experienced before.
That something special resurfaced here, starting with the Olympic torch relay, spreading, becoming stronger, and coming together on Feb. 12 at the Opening Ceremony to ignite us for the next sixteen days.
I think there's something in everybody's heart that longs to be part of a bigger story, a common cause, something joyful. We were made for it. Somehow, Canadians were ready, and the Winter Games sang us a song that reminded us somewhere deep down of this higher calling. And we had a little taste of it.
One day, we'll be part of the real thing, when people from every nation come together in spirit and in truth. What a day that will be! And oh, how we'll cheer.

So, here I am with my Olympic mittens. I love them. They'll always remind me of two special, exciting weeks in Vancouver.
And suddenly, spring is upon us.
Vive le printemps!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Woo Hoo!

What a game it was - the guys were amazing and had all of Canada on the edge of our seats! The US team played so well and thoroughly deserved to win just as much as Canada did. Just about to present the medals now. Yay Canada! What a way to finish the games!

Gearing Up to Wind Down

My burning desire for the past two weeks has been to get a photo of the Olympic cauldron.
Could I get one? No.
As simple as it sounds, I either didn't get there at all, or couldn't get near it because of the crowds.
So, being the slightly obsessive person that I am, I decided to take my last chance and head downtown first thing this morning.
Here's my 7am shot, taken in grey drizzle.
The Olympic rings floated quietly in Coal Harbour. They were yellow yesterday, as Canada won some golden hardware!
By 8am, hockey fans were lining up outside their favourite pubs to get a seat for the big game at noon. There were even one or two American fans daring enough to carry the stars and stripes in the streets of Vancouver!

There's the famous boxing kangaroo! Yay, Australia!
This is our last day to enjoy the Winter Games and people seemed more than ready to squeeze every drop of celebration out of the day. After the hockey game, there will be the closing ceremonies, and BC Place was getting ready to receive the crowds.
I'm so glad I went this morning. I've had my last hurrah, and now must get back to writing report cards. Quite inconvenient. But the hockey game is on in the background, and it's 2-0 for us in the second period!
Go Canada!!

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