Firsts

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First weekend of summer.

First run since my knee injury in February.

First yoga workshop, focusing on arm balances and inversions. (For the record, I’m much better at inverting than I am at arm balancing….for now.)

I’m sore and bruised, but it was just the push I needed to remove myself from my comfort zone.

And, really…I’m bettering myself one face-plant at a time.

~C.

 



And I said, Hey! Girl with one eye…

At the risk of sounding like an absolute phony, I generally don’t mind Monday mornings all that much. New week, fresh start, blah de blah blah.

This particular Monday morning though, I feel like I could have done with an extra day off. My eyeballs are on the verge of falling out of my head. Some last-minute, urgent documents appeared on my desk Friday afternoon (which needed to be done for Monday morning, naturally), so I had a technical writing marathon this weekend.

This doesn’t happen too often. And it probably wouldn’t have been so bad, had I not had eye surgery the other week. Just a touch-up on my right eye though, which is now super clear compared to the gentle fuzziness of my left. As a result, eye strain ensued while I was parked in front of my computer for a total of 16 hours. By the end, I was doing this tragic sort of drunken lurch towards the computer screen and back again, squinting with mouth slightly agape, closing one eye for better focus. I was also perched upon this wonderful Sit Active cushion – gifted to me by my sister on my 30th birthday, as a pre-emptive strike against poor posture that apparently comes with ageing – which also happens to look like something made for hemorrhoid sufferers.

I glammed up the whole situation though (well, lets not kid myself – made the situation somewhat enjoyable), by setting up office at my sunny kitchen table, lighting some deliciously scented candles and putting on a beautiful playlist (Ambient Icelandic Stargazing on Songza), while drinking mugs of warm lemon water and wearing slipper booties.

While it wasn’t the most ideal way to spend the weekend, I got ‘er done. And, this upcoming weekend is a three-day break for me, so guess who’s going to be making up for lost time?

~C.



Laid up

Today is a day I’m working from home, in my pyjamas.

Last night I had the misfortune of reigniting my ol’ ACL injury. Which kind of puts a damper on this upcoming weekend. I’ve had this girl’s snowboarding weekend scheduled for over a month! Instead of riding in -30 degree weather though, I might be booking myself in for a spa session.

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Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.

Also, I’ve just booked flights for a little getaway in April. I’m temporarily not bummed out!

~C.



Snowshoe to Troll Falls

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If you’re not a winter activity enthusiast, I can empathize with how miserable and long this season is.

I’m fortunate in the sense that most of my interests centre around ice and snow. From when I was a wee little thing, ice rinks were my second home (I dabbled with figure skating before getting involved with ringette, then continued to hone my skating and endurance skills with Power Skating sessions). The coulee hills at my parents’ farm were the best tobogganing hills for miles around. And now, I happen to live very close to the mountains, which means I can get in a day of snowboarding with minimum hassle.

After this past weekend, I can add snowshoeing to my repertoire, too! It was my first time out, so the brief trail to Troll Falls was a suitable distance. Also, it was pretty cold. I had to keep my camera close to my body (read: tucked into the waistband of my pants!), to keep the battery warm enough so I could get a few pictures.

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~C.



We adopted a kitten. Except…

…his mannerisms are suspiciously similar to those of a dog.

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We named him Loki and he plays fetch. Which, most of the time, turns into a competition between him and Leila-dog. Leila often wins because of her size advantage. Loki’s quick enough (and smart enough) to stay out of her path. Most of the time.

He eats food that is inadvertently dropped on the kitchen floor. If no food is dropped, he begs for it by meowing persistently.

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And, he drinks out of the toilet bowl! I’m trying to discourage this behaviour (and not just because I think there is going to be the inevitable fall into the bowl).

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We brought him home two months ago and it took him no time at all to settle into his new surroundings. He’s also doubled in size already! And, he’s proven to be the perfect addition to round out our little gang.

~C.



Five

It's that time of year again...
Snapshot from the latest farm visit. It’s that time of year again…
  • It’s the one year anniversary of me moving back to Canada. It’s rainy and dreary here today, which reminds me of Auckland in the winter. The more time that goes by, the more I miss it. But I’m incredibly happy for my life here in Canada.
  • It was Phil’s and my two year anniversary a few weeks ago. I gave him a Smith and Wesson Extraction and Evasion hatchet (nothing says I love you like a murderous, aggressively named weapon). We went for brunch at our favourite breakfast place and then zip-lining at Canada Olympic Park (I like more adrenaline-inducing things, but this was a lot of fun and we’d definitely do it again!).
  • I finally procured a new-to-me vehicle. It’s been two years since I had one, which is pretty unbelievable considering how much I love to drive. I bought another 4runner, as I love how durable, trustworthy and practical they are for my lifestyle. I support the import!
  • I had my first camping trip of the year last weekend. Phil’s friends took me out to Red Lodge (I think they felt bad that our trip to Nelson, BC had to be cancelled on account of Phil being exiled out-of-town for work. It was a beautiful weekend and they took such great care of me. No burgers and hot dogs for us – some pretty gourmet dishes, they surprised me with coffee in bed and we had dance parties around the campfire.
  • My two-month hiatus from work has officially come to an end. Not only did I get one job, but two! I start a full-time technical writing contract next week and I also have a freelance copywriting job on the side. I’m pretty excited. I’ve enjoyed being able to spend more time at my parents’ farm, having day-long Dexter marathons and book-reading sessions and doing pretty much whatever I want, but it’s time to put on my grown-up pants and get me a steady paycheck again.

~C.



random dog-walk musings

One of the greatest things I love about walking Leila is the interaction she creates with fellow pedestrians. She’s a magnet for attention.

Two of my most favourite interactions to date were in NZ…both involving school-aged children (gosh, those Kiwi boys’ charm and character kick in at a young age!):

1. While walking on a boardwalk through a preservation area, we encountered two young brothers (ages 8 and 10), whose father was coaching a nearby cricket game. They insisted on accompanying me the rest of our walk (and holding Leila’s leash), all the while chattering away about their young lives, having to move from Auckland to Wellington and being forced to give up their own dog (*insert heart breaking here*). I had not been having the best day up until that point, but having those two completely enamoured boys keeping me company, helping out with Leila and providing the best conversation I had had all day absolutely boosted my spirits in a way that they’ll never understand.

2. Towards the end of a bike ride with Leila, I crossed the street near my house – guiding my bike with one hand, Leila’s leash in the other. I passed a group of uniformed school boys, about 10 years old, when one of them broke from the conversation and said “I need a woman like that. She has a bike AND a dog!”. It was obvious that he hadn’t intended it for my ears, so I feigned deafness and continued toward home, where I laughed for days.

Tonight, Leila and I meandered through our neighbourhood and there were even more people than usual out enjoying the cool evening weather. I was approached by several groups of children asking, “Excuse me, can I please pet your dog?” (I need to break here for a second to say, I LOVE it when kids ask if they can pet Leila, instead of charging at her. As much as I trust her around kids, I believe that all kid-meet-dog scenarios should be controlled interactions. So, well done, dog-savvy parents!). Anyway, there were two sisters in particular that captured my attention (and my heart!).

They were fraternal twins, but when they first approached us, I thought one was a few years older. They didn’t look anything alike – one was tall, lanky, with thin features and short, brown hair. The other, more cherub-like, was short and with long, blonde hair. They were riding too-big bikes and wearing too-big helmets. They told me they were adopted and had a big family, with several other kids and a plethora of exotic pets. The bikes and helmets were their older brothers’. The brown-haired one told me her sister was initially chosen for adoption, but that the couple then talked to her too and decided to adopt both of them and I said contritely, “Oh that’s so nice that you two could stay together”. With a look of solemnity, she said “We had to. We can’t be apart. We can’t even go to sleep if we’re not together”.

I thought of my sister, 12,000 km away. We’re 20-some years older than these two, and we may not be twins, but we possess that same strong sister-bond. Sometimes I feel ridiculous that at this age, I have extreme mopey days because we’re so far apart. We Skype and text and talk on the phone whenever we can, but I look forward to the day when we’re in the same country. Hell, even on the same continent.

I’m aware that this time last year, I was living with my sister and lamenting over the fact that my boyfriend and I were on opposite sides of the globe. It’s a tricky business, long distance relationships.

Why can’t everyone I love just live in the same place?!

~C.



I just kinda realized….

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…summer is half over?! I had such lofty aspirations when I started this post at the beginning of June, detailing all that I wanted to do this summer. I have a tendency to seriously underestimate how quickly time flies though. And I did have two big events take place, which I threw myself into and subsequently lost any concept of time I may have had. They were:

  • My Maid-of-Honour duties for my friend’s wedding (which took place in Golden, British Columbia and was an absolutely wonderful weekend).
  • Hosting the boyfriend’s parents, aunt and uncle visiting from Quebec and taking them to Banff, the Calgary Stampede, and sites around the city.

Now, the rest of my summer is a blank canvas so I can do what I want! I’m trying not to let myself become overwhelmed with all the possibilities (I liken it to the instance where you have so much to do and you don’t know where to start, so you just have a nap instead).
I hope I’m not alone in this?

I’m currently not working at the moment either (my technical writing contract finished the other week, so I’m taking a bit of time off before resuming employment). August is my oyster! Now is the time to catch up on the writing, reading, camping, hiking, star-gazing, life administration, etc. that I’ve been putting off. With more than a few naps in between, I’m sure.

~C.



Southern Alberta flood 2013

It may be a time of devastation, but the people of this city have united in an inspiring, uplifting way to help those impacted by the flood.

I’m proud of all the citizens of Calgary and surrounding areas for quickly providing support on so many levels – people are donating time, resources, money, transportation, even their own homes (to take in displaced families and pets). The armed forces were deployed to certain flood zones and people have come from other provinces as well, to lend a helping hand.

We are so fortunate that our home was not in harm’s way. However, we do know several people that were hit pretty hard. We’re doing what we can to help, but it still doesn’t feel like enough.

There are so many stories and photos floating around the interweb, but check out this photo gallery, which covers the extreme flooding. And this article discusses the damage at the zoo…and the hippos that nearly escaped.

from thestar.com
from thestar.com

~C.



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Leila_car_ride horses Leila_road phil and dad

I may be running the risk of breaking some unwritten rule about hating Mondays, but I’m sorry guys. I had a great Monday.

Probably because it was preceded by a great weekend and those vibes just carried over.

It was my birthday and it was the perfect balance of family, friends and one-on-one time with Phil, along with equal parts lazy down-time and late-night shenanigans.

It was also the complete opposite of last year’s birthday, which I celebrated by hoofing it through a NZ forest for a half-marathon. Haha. Each is perfect in its own right.

My favourite part was heading out to the farm yesterday, to have dinner with my parents. It was beautiful outside and everything was so calm and serene and if there were to be a “worst” part of the weekend, it’d have to be coming back to the city.

But then again, we caught this sunset on the drive home, so maybe it wasn’t that terrible after all.

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~C.