Friday, December 23, 2011

the wait is almost over...

The last day of school is here--finally!  The kids are nuts, the staff even more so!  You can absolutely feel the excitement in the air, and Santa even made a visit to our assembly this morning.

The excitement at home is nearing fever pitch.  The family is heading for our very first vacation to the south for Christmas!  We are getting up at 4 in the morning to hit the road for Baltimore, where we board the ship Christmas at about lunch time.  The dog is going to Grandma and Grandpa's house (*sniff* I miss her already) and "The Boyfriend" of Jess is going to look after the house and the kitties and caged critters.  It's so exciting, yet kind of scary!  We've never done this before and as always if I can't plan it, it makes me nervous.  But I'm sure it will be a fabulous vacay!  Florida and Bahamas here we come!

I do miss the trappings of traditional Christmas though, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  I may be a Christmas-aholic.

Wishing everyone a fantastic Christmas, filled with blessings and love.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

20 years is a long time

Today, on the winter solstice is the 20th anniversary of my marriage to my husband.  20 years!  That's long time, no matter how you count it.  In human years, dog years, or married years 20 is a big number.  It has been an eventful 20 years.  Lots of laughing, crying and sometimes even yelling.  Ok, maybe a fair bit of yelling, but mostly in the first 10 years.  You know, when we were raising young kids, suffering from sleep deprivation and a severe lack of funds.  But we got through it in one piece, and I would even go back and do it all over again.

We have 3 wonderful children, and on August 8th every year we ponder what would have been.  We have been married almost as long as we weren't!  In 2 short years I will have been married as long as I wasn't.  How many of my generation can say that?  And all to the same man.  How do you quantify what another means to you?  We can count it in years.  But how do you express that our lives are so intertwined and woven together that I'm not sure where I end and he begins. 

Sometimes marriage is like a favourite sweater.  You look forward to snuggling up in it after a long hard day out in the world, sometimes you think it needs some mending, and on other days you think it stinks and needs a good wash.  But like an old sweater that you love, you dig it out and put it on and revel in the comfort.  There's no itchy tags to contend with, no pretence, and frankly if there's a spill, you know you can deal with it.

I suppose having been married for 20 years officially puts us in the old people club.  Who has been married 20 years, except someone's parents?  I consider the enthusiasm of the newly married with some envy.  But I still prefer the comfort of my old marriage.  The wrinkles have been worked out, we finish each other's sentences and he knows what I'm thinking before I think it.

This morning on facebook my husband asked if I was up for another 20 years.  He can count on it.  I'm in if he's in, I can't imagine it any other way.

I'm not the most demonstrative of people, PDA makes my skin kind of crawl.  So he will know what a huge deal it is for me to tell him how much I love him on my blog.  This is major people!

Happy anniversary honey, I do love you and I'm looking forward to the next 20 years.

By the way, I highly recommend getting married on the solstice.  It seems to work :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Flower Patch Farm Girl's bark

I swiped this pic from her blog:

Doesn't it look yummy?  I made some last night, and likely the only thing that kept me from eating half the pan was that it was too hot and not hard enough to break up before I crawled into bed.  That and Rick was watching me.  The man often acts as my conscience when it comes to sweets.'s a good thing, because I actually made it to give some away.  Some to my Secret Santa recipient at school.  Some to Shimmy's teacher.  Some to my friend Cathy.  I think I will need to make more.  Because there's no way possible for me to package it all up and not eat it.  Rick is working tonight, so no conscience ;)

And I might just make a batch to pop into the mail when I get to the US so my friend Julie can enjoy it too.  I figure it's easier to mail it in the US so it doesn't need to go through customs.  I don't trust those customs guys to not eat it and send the empty package.  Of course, that's if I can keep myself from eating it first.  And if I can find a post office on the way to the hotel.

Thanks to Flower Patch Farm Girl for the picture and the recipe.  I hope you don't mind that I borrowed, so I could spread the bark love.  Check out her blog for the original post, and a wonderful blog to read.  I like her.

Fitness updates will follow in January.  I'm on a hiatus.  I will be doing some running and stuff, but not likely blogging.  I'll be on a ship, eating my self silly.

Enjoy the bark.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

a new addiction?

About a month ago I was invited to join Pinterest.  Being really busy with everything, I didn't bother checking it out.  I did so this morning.  Omgosh!  I think I may have done a dangerous thing.  I can hours disappearing, sucked into the Pinterest vortex of looking at boards and repinning.  Goodness gracious!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas parties and elusive sleep

Last night was the staff Christmas party.  Let's just say I work with some very funny people.  My face hurts from laughing.  I also coughed so hard I almost coughed up a lung.  Which would have put a damper on the party.  Or maybe not.  But what happens at the party stays at the party.  'Nough said.  I'm just glad I don't have a hangover!

But, I did get to bed at about 1 a.m.  And woke up for the day at 4 a.m.  It's going to be a very long day.  I imagine anxiety about our family Christmas is the reason I couldn't sleep.  It's going to be....interesting.  Christmas is my favourite time of year.  The magic of the season, the decorations, wrapping gifts, the whole deal.  Except then family Christmas get-togethers and the reality of holiday stress sets in.  And I come to the realization that I am no Martha Stewart.  Nor am I a model of patience.  Throw in a night with only 3 hours sleep--yeehaw!  Perhaps tomorrow I may be writing a Canadian Hangover screenplay.  I wonder how Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinakis and Ed Helmsley feel about the Great White North?

The Hangover Poster

Throw in a couple Santa hats and some snow.  Can't you picture it?  Instead of Jagermeister the boys will be drinking Canadians and shooting Canadian Rye Whiskey laced with maple syrup.....but I digress.

I am weary.  I am possibly a little grumpy.  And I need to put on my happy face and act like a house full of people, all with strong opinions and sibling rivalry rearing its head is what I'm in the mood for.  I think a nap is in order, and likely a very long walk in the bush.  It will be loud, and chaotic and I will be grumpy, but isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Just in case anyone reading this thinks I'm being a bit Grinchy, you're right.  But I love my family and Christmas just wouldn't be the same without all of the things above.  Only Brad, Zach and Ed won't be there.

How do you deal with the anxiety and stress of the Christmas season?

Blessings for a beautiful Saturday friends.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I submitted the final assignment for my course last night!  I received the feedback this morning and I am officially finished.  And I tell you, I feel like my load has been greatly lightened.  I am indulging in the decadent-blogging during my prep time and NOT marking any of the huge pile sitting on my desk, awaiting my seal of approval.  Do I feel guilty for wasting time?  Not one little teeny bit.  I feel as though I have suddenly found hours of time to accomplish stuff in.  Because I have!  I am taking a break from courses, so no more hours in front of the computer, working away.  I will likely soon be complaining about not knowing what to do with myself, but for now I am happy!

I am feeling like Christmas is coming.  We will begin the crafting any day now at school.  I only have to figure out exactly what we're going to do.  I have to do some reading of my Christmas-y craft books and take an inventory of stuff I already have.  So many ideas, now to narrow it down to what 9 and 10 year olds can actually do fairly independently.  So we shall see....

Great run on Saturday, a nice easy 5k, no pains, no coughing.  Only 3k last night, but feeling a bit sore and with a stuffy nose.  Looking to knock off 5k again tomorrow and then on the weekend work on increasing distance again.  And yoga.  I will have time to do yoga, and not feel like there's something else I should be doing.  Sweet!

Looking forward to setting new intentions and goals for the new year.  Nothing concrete yet, but a few races will be involved, along with some new yoga intentions.  I intend to spend some of my newfound free time clearing away a part of the basement and actually setting up a workout/yoga corner. 

Hoping everyone is enjoying this fantastic Tuesday!  Oh the headiness of freedom, sweet freedom.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December musings...

It has been a trying month, to say the least.  I won't bore you with the gory details, but let's just say I feel like I've been through an emotional ringer.  And we're only just getting to half way through!  December is often such a difficult month for so many people.  Not usually myself, but then again, it`s been particularly trying.

But, the good news is that Christmas is coming!  Went to 2 different Christmas celebrations yesterday, one at a friend's beautifully decorated house and another at my fav pub-style Irish place--Fionn MacCool's.  Going to my friend's house made me think about digging out some Christmasy stuff, even though we're going to be away.  Lights and candles and decorations are magical, even if you don't put up a tree.  Since we are having a Christmas celebration here tomorrow, perhaps I should dig out a few things so it doesn't resemble the Grinch's house around here.  I am starting to get into the Christmas spirit :)

I used to spend alot of time crafting for Christmas, making ornaments, baking, knitting, sewing.  I have to say I miss it.  I don't have time anymore (working full-time and not being at home with little kids), but I'd still like to do it.  Hubs mentioned that this has been a crazy busy week.  Yes it has, but then again, welcome to my world.  It's important to make it basketball games and practices to watch and cheer.  It's important to make time for friends.  And once I've done all that, worked a full week and worked on assignments for the blasted course (3 more and I'm done!!) there's not much time left for crafting.  Or to be honest energy.

Alas, I must go and work on the course.  I must do laundry today (or go buy some new gitch, 'cause I'm officially out), tidying must be accomplished.  But this weekend should be it for the course, the house will be tidy enough, and then I can start packing for our trip.  Have I mentioned that I'm beside myself with excitement?  Dreams of sand and sun are filling my head.  Christmas on a ship will be different, but maybe that's just what we need this year.

I might even work in a run and a little yoga this weekend!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough

Just when I was recovered enough from my self-inflicted, albeit unintentional injury, I have been laid low by a nasty cold bug.  It's been a yucky week.  And although I know it's a cold, and finite in length and severity, I have not been well enough to run.  And I even skipped yoga on Thursday.  Which is not what I wanted to do.  The good news is that it's been an extra week of rest for my iliopsoas, and it should be really healed.  The bad news is that I am going to feel like I'm dying the first long-ish run I do.  Which I'm hoping will be early next week.  But, I know all about muscle memory, blah, blah, blah, and I will be back running 8k at a shot before long. 

My darling hubs is planning a half-marathon in the new year.  And last night he was even talking the craziness of a full marathon!  I won't be doing a full marathon, but maybe a half by next fall?  I don't know.  I do know that I want to get back into my regular running schedule and get in a few 10k races, and then we'll see.  I feel like a slug not running for almost a month.  I totally get resting an injury, and I've been whining alot, but I'm almost there.  Just need to get over this cold.

Yesterday was my birthday.  Let's just say the shine is definitely off birthdays :)  Although I do love getting gifts!  And I am thankful and blessed.  My family gave me an ipod touch, and the first app I'm going to buy is the timer for running intervals!  And Angry Birds.  But that's another story.  And my son Jackson (who recently got a part-time job) bought me a Nike + ipod for measuring distance.  I love gadgets!  I also received lovely gifts from my parents and siblings.  Gifts are a wonderful way to show you care about someone, and that you know and understand them.  And my family does.

Today--Christmas shopping.  I can't think of a less appealing way to spend a Saturday.  Unless it was dental work.  However, I love giving gifts and to do that, I need to actually buy them.  I should have been thinking ahead and done my shopping online.  Much more my style.  I do get to spend the day alone with my hubs, and possibly will have a nice lunch together.  And Starbucks--my guilty pleasure.

When I was writing about my birthday, I didn't mention that it was also my favourite brother-in-law's birthday too.  We met at Fionn MacCool's (Irish pub-style restaurant) for dinner.  It was so nice!  A pint of Harp, my favourite Irish beer, yummy food and great company.  My nephew was adorable.  And I need to get together with him so he can show me how to use my ipod (he's 3).  I figure he's the best tech support.  He speaks a language I can understand.

Enjoy this sunny December Saturday friends.  Think of me in the craziness of Christmas shopping.  Maybe say a little prayer for me that I don't become completely unhinged and have a complete meltdown.  I will be employing some pranayama to keep me calm.

Monday, November 21, 2011

a pain-free day!

I had a pain-free day today!  And even though I'm dying to get moving, I am going to give my self a couple more days before I run.  I will go to Hatha yoga tomorrow, it's so gentle I should be fine.  And I will LISTEN to my body.  Not listening is what got me into this mess.  Well, that and being pregant 20 years ago, and not knowing that you should always draw your knees into your chest to sneeze when your belly is already straining all of those muscles, tendons and ligaments.  I really didn't think that the injury would still be rearing its ugly head, all these years later.  And I guess that it wouldn't be, if I had the good sense to listen when my body says enough.  Sadly, I am a slow learner when it comes to these things.

I've restarted my detox diet.  My dietary negligence is apparent in a few not so nice ways.  Time to get real.  I don't know why I'm struggling so much lately.  Stress?  The research shows that stress impacts hormones, and starts a nasty vicious cycle of cravings, weight gain, which in turn impacts the hormones...and the cycle perpetuates itself.  Nice.  Or not.  Either way, time to get my head out of my butt and pay attention to what I'm doing to myself.  Lots of water, liver detoxifying foods and of course my supplements.  Too much estrogen rampaging through my system is causing mayhem.  Time to throw in a little extra ground flax too.  The key is to manage to get through the first couple of weeks and then you start to feel better.  I`m all for feeling better!

Enough blogging, I have to write a huge IEP (that`s boring teacher talk.  If you don`t know what it means, don`t worry about it!), for a fake kid, filled with fake details, to satisfy a requirement of my course.  It is a valuable exercise in many respects, but I tired of doing this much work for fake kids.  I have enough work to do to appropriately program for real kids.  But, alas it must be done.  And since I`m resting my sore iliopsoas, it`s good to get it out of the way.

Stay tuned for a running blog post!  I`m hoping for maybe Thursday or Friday--it will be painful, but I will be running!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

injury begone!

Dear Injury,
You are preventing me from running and yoga-ing it up.  I am tired of this clingy attitude you've adopted.  It's time for you to move on.  Please leave.  I am missing a beautiful outside run day (with a scarf wrapped around my face to warm the cold air before it hits my lungs) because you are outstaying your welcome.  I dream of a pain-free run followed by a nice long stretch.  And you are in my way.
Injury, I no longer give you permission to occupy my body.  If this persists I will be forced to take significant action.

This is my letter to my nagging pain.  I have resorted to watching bootcamp videos on youtube and surfing Yoga and, which is like a sex addict watching online porn.  (ok, I totally made that line up, I like the way it sounds--kinda creepy)  I'm reading the blogs of my fit friends, green with envy.  I'm perusing the Running Free website, jones-ing over some new flashy runners.  You know, the kind that make you look fast.  I'm watching my waist, which in my warped mind, I'm sure I can see expanding even as I type this.

I'm rereading this blog post and realizing that I actually am a crazy person, who only pretends to be sane.  But I'm happy this way!  Even though it's apparent that I either need to go on a very long run, or need to seek intensive psychotherapy.  Maybe both.  My sister has been a therapy provider, I'll ask her what she thinks.  I'm sure she'll agree.

It's been a full week without physical activity.  And I'm still not healed.  I know I can't run until the pain is gone, or I will just be back to the start.  This is getting ridiculous!  I need some perspective.  It's been a crazy week, and realistically I could only have  worked some kind of exercise in on a couple of days.  I've missed 3 runs tops.  Only 2 yoga classes, and one of those was because of work.  Maybe tomorrow I'll try a very short, very easy run.  Or at least a walk.  And some yoga asana that doesn't involve my hip and groin region.
Brooks Racer ST 5 Unisex Blaze/Navy/SilverNB WR1063CU Women's Orange/White/SilverNB WT10GR Women's Grey/RedRun:Your Heart Out Pullover

 These are just some of the things I've decided that will make my injury feel better.  Or maybe it's my Christmas list.  Either way, it's kind of sad that this is what I've been reduced to.  Shoe photos courtesy of Running Free Orangeville (shout out to Norm and Jodi!) and the rest from lululemon. 

I think any of the shoes would make me look fast, don't you?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Injuries bite

Remember that slightly strained hip flexor I was complaining about?  It's still got me sidelined.  It's a week today.  I am not impressed.  And I believe it is actually an iliopsoas injury.  You know how I first injured it and have had trouble ever since?  I sneezed when I was pregnant.  With Jess.  Who is now 19 & 1/2 years old.  That's a long time to keep having a recurring injury.

I think I really strained it this time.  Usually a couple days rest and I'm good to go again.  Never a week!  I'm trying so hard to be patient, I really am.  But I'm itching to get my running shoes on.  I'm thinking I'm going to be very set back in my running.  Not as worried about yoga.  But, I will wait, all in the name of healing.

It serves me right, I guess.  I need to learn not to push.  It's ok.

And in typical fashion, I am getting a cold on the day of parent-teacher interviews.  It's like a tradition.  At least I'm getting a two-fer.  I have to rest and not run anyway, hopefully the worst of the cold will be over by the time I'm ready to run again.

Tomorrow we get a half day off, because we work this evening.  I do believe I'm going to call the naturopath and see if I can get my B12, immune booster and a vitamin C iv tomorrow afternoon.  And maybe a manicure.  Because there's no way I'm wasting a precious 1/2 day off!

And maybe, just maybe, I'll call and make an appointment with a physiotherapist.  I would love to kick this injury once and for all!

Happy Thursday.  Learn from my mistakes--listen to your body!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

vinyasa hangover

I went to my first vinyasa class in many moons on Thursday evening.  The lovely Sarah is back.  The class is at the home studio of Joey and Ellen who own Soaring Heart Wellness in Shelburne.  It is AMAZING!  They live in a circular home (that I first saw about 15 years ago, and yes, I covet it).  I didn't know that's where they lived until I got there.  Anyhow, I digress.  The studio is an amazing space, heated by woodstove.  I actually made a Bikram joke when I got there, it was HOT.  But hot is fantastic for creaky, middle-aged muscles.  As Sarah said, a gift.  Suffice it to say that I was immediately in detox mode, and drank water and peed constantly yesterday (that's alot of info.  Sorry.)

Practice was wonderful.  I was brought back into my yoga groove, so to speak.  As we flowed (it is vinyasa!) through asana, I could feel my body waking up in a way that it has been missing.  Some imbalances were readily apparent to me, some were only discovered yesterday as I found some muscles that were clearly challenged the evening before.  And this morning the vinyasa hangover continues--hello triceps, nice (?!) to feel you again.  Oh, hello left hamstring, right hip flexor, sorry for the "argument".  Please relax and take it a little easy today. 

So while I've enjoyed my Hatha practice with Willowcreek Yoga, and it's kept me fairly limber, I am a vinyasa yogini.  For reals.  I thank Hatha for allowing me to move back into vinyasa, with a certain amount of success.  I was very happy to find that I haven't lost much flexibility.  I can still do a foward fold with kubera mudra (which is likely not spelled correctly, Sanskrit in not my first language.  Or second for that matter.)  I can still grasp my feet in a seated forward fold.  King pigeon and sleeping pigeon are still accessible (although a little tighter).  Twists are accessible and will only get better.

Yes, I still have vinyasa hangover, but it's the best kind of hangover.  I will drink lots of water with lemon today, rest my twingy hamstring and hip flexor, and do a long run tomorrow.  Tomorrow's run should be better, looser hip joints, lengthened hamstrings will make it flow.  Thank you vinyasa.

And something else I discovered as a truth for me?  I love class.  I don't do so well with home practice.  And although I am introspective by nature, I much prefer that introspection while within a group of like-minded people.  Weird.  I was genuinely happy to see everyone.  It was a combination of people from Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from the last few series of classes.  I knew everyone, except one newcomer.  And I realized that although yoga is the only place we see each other, we are a community.

Enjoy this chilly Saturday.  The snow will likely melt, and it may well be our last Ontario Saturday before the real onset of winter.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today is a fabulous day!  I started out feeling a bit sad (?? not sure why!).  But Rick and I went to church, and it was the kids service.  The kids of the church did the whole service, and boy do their praise songs rock!  They did a dramatic reading of the Prodigal Son story, and danced and sang.  It changed my sadness into gratefulness that I dragged my butt out and went.

I am also grateful for a new coffeemaker (I killed the old one, note to self, do the vinegar trick more than once a year).  But most of all I am grateful for a beautiful, warm November day.  My backdoor is open, letting beautiful fresh air in.  The sunshine is amazing, and Rick and I did a little cleaning up in the backyard.  It was glorious! 

The extra hour today because of the time change is oh, so lovely.  I love how it makes a beautiful Sunday feel almost neverending!  A little sunshine does wonders for mood and sense of wellbeing.  It brings out the neighbours, and makes the dog excited to be in the backyard with me.

Ultimately, I have a great deal for which to be thankful.  And grateful.  And I am doing just that on this beautiful, sunny Sunday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What couple of weeks!

It's been a while, holy moly, what a couple of weeks!  Hanging on by a thread would pretty much describe it.   Not enough exercise, too much work, and too much stress.  Taking a demanding course and writing progress reports for school, coupled with getting boys to sports makes me a bit of a crazy woman!  Complete with crying when my hubs didn't make family breakfast last weekend.  Crying.  Yup, it wasn't a good day.  Not a good week.  Fighting tears at school, over the silliest little things.  But my final assignments for this module of the course are done, progress reports are done, except for some editing and revising.  I did take a day off work to get it all done and regain some sense of sanity and grip on reality.  The good news is that I feel much more like myself.  And I'm sure everyone around me is glad.

Which brings me to question how perfectionism affects lives.  My biggest stressor is--me!  The amount of pressure I put on myself to be perfect is ridiculous.  No one is harder on me than me.  It's unhealthy.  I'm not eating well, I'm no doubt taking years off of my life with worry and anxiety and I'm just not nice to be around.  I see it in my children, and I see it in my friends.  I can help to put things in perspective for others, why not myself?  Yes, perfectionism gets me ahead in my career.  But at what cost?

So my conclusion is that the cost of perfectionism can be huge.  Perfectionism is not actually something to strive for--it's something to try to avoid.  No one can be perfect at everything.  That is not how humans are designed. 

I frequently lament my slowness when running.  My stalled progress in my yoga practice (or intermittent practice!).  My frailities of spirit.  My inability to be everything to everyone.  But I'm reminding myself today that all of those are okay.  There is time, and I need to enjoy the journey.  I may never be perfect--in fact I'm sure of it.  There has only ever been one perfect human being.  And I'm definitely not in His league!

My friends, my message today is simple.  Don't try to be perfect.  Let it go.  Just be.  Take time to enjoy the small things.  Today I will run, I'm aiming for 8 & 1/2 to 9km.  It will be painful at times, but it's a beautiful sunny day and I am going to concentrate on enjoying the day for what it is.

I'm dedicating my thoughts and prayers to my friend Julie today.  I love you Julie!  I know that you will read this blog post, because you always do.  Know that I`m thinking of you today and always.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

8k run!

I ran over 8k yesterday!  I didn't intend to run 8, I figured it would be about 7.  But I was running in Orangeville with my husband, who was timing our intervals.  He claims he added incorrectly (I still think he maybe tricked me!), and we did 13 minute intervals instead of 12, which means that we ran 4 extra minutes which is about that extra kilometer.  I am not a fast runner for anyone doing the math--I know it, but I'm not really running for speed at this point.  Even if he tricked me, it was nice of him to run with me, instead of at his natural much faster pace. 

Even more remarkable is that I did it on legs that felt so heavy when we started out.  The first couple of km didn't feel so great.  But I was fine once I got into it.  My heavy legs were heavy from my 7k run on Thursday, which as you may recall I did after not running for a week.  And this morning I have kind of twingy knees.  I forgot to rub Traumeel on them last night.  But I will today and then they'll be fine.  I am not running or walking today, no point in aggravating my knees, or ending up with an injury.  Maybe some gentle yoga.

Shimmy has a basketball skills "camp" on Saturday afternoons, which is run by our friend, Jackson's former coach.  So we decided to run while he was at the camp.  That's the kind of multi-tasking I need to get better at.  Instead of sitting for 2 hours, get in a run.  Of course, that's assuming that I would have been sitting, when really we would have been running errands.  And getting my mom a birthday gift--which I forgot to do yesterday, so I will need to head into town today to get one, before her birthday dinner today.

And did I mention that we are going to Eastside Mario's?  Which means YUMMY pasta!  I realize that my life might be a little sad, I soooo excited to go out for pasta.  It's because I rarely eat the stuff, but I love the Firecracker Shrimp Bowties.  And I'm going to eat a huge amount of caesar salad first.  And even some of that delicious bread.  I'm getting a serotonin high just thinking about it!  Hey, maybe that's the key to missing the sunshine and feeling low in serotonin--dream about eating huge pasta could be a dietary revolution!

On a more serious note, my deepest condolences go out to the family of Kale, the young man who collapsed and died during last Sunday's marathon in Toronto.  I read an article in yesterday's Toronto Star, and it said that a doctor who was spectating immediately started CPR when he collapsed.  Sadly Kale did not recover.  Stories like that make me feel so sad for the family.  And it gives my mother fodder for reasoning why I shouldn't run (or whatever exercise).  But 1 out of 22000 runners are really not bad odds, and I'll take my chances with running.  I suspect that young people who die during athletic events would have collapsed anyway, I believe they likely had a heart issue they didn't know about.  Kale's family is still waiting for autopsy results, but in the meantime, I wish them peace in their grief.

I'm not running today, but I need to get some work done on either my course, or my progress reports.  And now is the perfect time, while the house is still sleeping.

Have a wonderful Sunday.   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

finding time

I have a confession.  I only ran one day this week.  And I only did yoga one day this week.  I'm trying to be ok with it, it's definitely more challenging when Rick is on afternoons.  I am feeling overwhelmed with the course I'm taking (worth it, but it's alot on top of school), and the progress reports I need to start writing for school.  Both boys were very busy with sports this week.  It doesn't leave much time. 

I'm very grateful to my hubs for leaving suppers in the fridge for us.  It makes my life easier, just coming home, grabbing supper and leaving the house again.  But I'm still feeling the time crunch.  I've come to the conclusion that there really is no choice on some days, but to get up earlier and run or do yoga, or lift weights before I get ready for school.

I know that this is the solution.  However, I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to do it.  Staying in my warm, cozy bed with a kitty curled up against me is so inviting on these cold mornings.  Why would I want to crawl out of coziness into the coolness of early morning?

Because if I want to be fit and get any exercise, that`s just how it`s got to be.  There aren`t enough hours in the day, so I need to create some more.  45 minutes earlier is not going to kill me.  I know it will actually make my days smoother, relieve the stress and make me a happier person.

As we move into cooler, darker fall days, I have to say I`m feeling the effects of not enough sunshine already.  Vitamin D drops may help, but it`s not the same as actual sunshine.  I am looking forward to going to the south at Christmas to get some sunshine.  Already, yet I know that is not the total solution.  Maybe I should move somewhere where the weather is like what southern Ontario experienced on Thanksgiving weekend.  That was perfect.  It`s amazing how we humans are so impacted by the light, or lack thereof.  If sunbeds didn`t cause melanoma I think I`d consider it--I`m like an addict craving a high!

I`m sure the waning sunshine is part of why I`m struggling with diet right now.  I`m craving carbohydrates like crazy.  The thought of donuts and cookies and cakes sets my heart aflutter.  All the stuff that my body doesn`t do well with--if I give in, I pay up.  It impacts my whole system, my hormones, everything.  Obviously all is not well internally.  Waning serotonin?  Is my brain craving carbs to help to replace serotonin?  Quite likely.  It would be the appropriate physiological response.  So a little research into how to avert the cravings, and yet still not crash.  Did I mention I'm rereading "The Hormone Diet"?

How are you dealing with the changing weather?  Anyone feeling the same cravings and lethargy?  Anyone wishing for sunshine?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The basement chronicles

I spent literally hours in the basement cleaning and sorting yesterday.  And I'm not nearly done.  I unpacked several boxes from when we moved into this house 4 years ago.  Funny how I never procrastinate with tasks that involve only brainpower, but this....well, now I have more stuff to decide what to do with.  I made a big pile for the dump.  And feel ill with guilt.  Junk for the landfill?  But it is irreparable.  And much of it is junk I inherited from my grandmothers' homes after their passings--because I couldn't let it go to the dump.  And I have serious hoarding tendencies.  I did find Jessie's birth certificate that's been missing for 4 years.  But it's been replaced.  So I saved it to prove to her that I didn't really lose it, just packed it.

There is a lot of stuff that will go to the Salvation Army Thrift store as well, and lots of stuff for recycling.  I'm trying to get past that pile that's headed for landfill.  I have boxes and boxes books.  None of the thrift stores will take books, the second-hand stores don't want them, I guess they'll go into recycling.  Which seems wrong.  But what else can I do with them?  If anyone knows of a place that will take books, please let me know.  I've held onto these for 20 years (or more) collectively, because I didn't know what else to do with them.  But I need to get them out of my house, or when I'm 60 I will end up living in a house piled floor to ceiling with stuff, and will have to crawl over it to get to the kitchen and bathroom and will end up having social services come and declare me unfit for independent living.  And then when the clean-up crew comes to empty the house, they will find Rick buried and decaying under piles of stuff.  And I won't be able to tell them the last time I saw him because I will have been so worried about caring for my 20 cats and 15 dogs. 

A dramatic little scenario, but I'm sure this is where it starts.  So if you know who can help me out with the books, I think my husband will thank you.  And I'm making him give the huge box of my dad's books back.  I don't need it in my basement.  They can recycle them.

I still have lots of stuff to sort.  I have so many board games that my kids will never play again.  Those will go to school.  I have boxes of teaching resources to sort and purge.  If I haven't looked at it or used in the last 5 years, it's going.  I will never use it again.

Guilt aside, purging "stuff" is very freeing.  It feels like a weight has been lifted.  It's my goal to create a gym area in the basement, a decent place to lift weights.  The treadmill is down there, and now that's it's cleaner, I won't raise my blood pressure when I'm running on it and will want to use it more.  I'd like to get some of the cushiony square tiles for that area.  I don't know that I will ever have a yoga area down there, it's not that peaceful feeling as it is, but a spot for other exercising would be great.

So while I didn't get to yoga yesterday, I did get a kind of yoga feeling.  Less stuff creates peace.  And today I'm going to make Rick help me finish, so that it's truly peaceful feeling.  Once it's finished he'll have peace too--because I won't be nagging him anymore :)

Have wonderful Sunday.  It looks like a nicer day today than yesterday, hopefully nice enough for a long run.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

free time??

I have awoken to a strangely unusual day.  I am alone in my house!  For hours I will be alone.  I can't believe it's actually happening!  Jess stayed at school, Jackson has gone to work, and Rick and Seamus have headed to my parents to split and pile wood.  And I am at home.  Just me and the critters.  And my course is locked for the weekend and I can't access the looming progress reports.  What am I going to do???

Well....I've already wasted time watching Will & Grace reruns, and cruising blogs.  Mostly blogs about happy homemakers with beautifully decorated homes.  Which kind of make me gag a little.  I love crafting and decorating, but I simply do not have the time that I did when I was a SAHM.  And the blogs I'm reading are those of SAHMs or those that work part-time (often from home).  But they are fun to read and get inspiration, if I ever get the time. 

I've started rereading The Hormone Diet.  I need to clean up my diet (I'm always saying that, I know).  I've not been exactly doing what is best for my allergies or my hormones.  Time to get it together! I do not want to end up getting sick because I'm eating sugar.  And it's unfortunately that time of year.  I've added a couple more supplements, and it just doesn't make sense to spend a fortune on supplements, spend hours running and going to yoga, only to eat food that doesn't benefit me.

So today, I am planning to do the neverending pile of laundry, make me-friendly soups for lunches, clean up the basement so I can stand to run down there (it's disgusting and I don't like running outside in cold and wet, I need to use the treadmill), and maybe do some yoga.  I would also like to preview the boot-camp dvd I bought in the summer--I need to kick fitness up a notch.  How about that?  A whole to-do list that doesn't have either coursework or schoolwork on it!  It feels like luxury!

And maybe I'll get the Toronto Star when I'm at the store.  And read it in absolute peace.

If I'm going to accomplish my non-academic to-do, I'd better get going.  I have a pile of supplements to take, and a basement to tidy.

Have a wonderful rainy Saturday.  And if you're running the Scotiabank marathon today, I'm sending good thoughts and positive energy today.  But you won't know that, because you're running in the rain, not reading my blog.  But I'll do it anyway.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

B12 and minerals

I had a visit with my naturopath today.  And got my blessed B12 shot.  I got a double shot.  I feel perkier already, which is a good thing.  And I also found out that my sodium/potassium balance is out of whack, and was prescribed a mineral supplement.  It explains the incredible thirst of late, and is likely a direct result of all of the sweating when I'm running.  *sigh* I look like either a hypochondriac or a drug addict with the amount of supplements I take.  I'm glad that I feel better from them!  I'm hoping the mineral supplement will help me to feel more myself.  I know the B12 will!

I finished the final assignment for this 1/4 of my course.  Which means some free time this weekend!  I'm finished IEPs, and this 1/4 of the course, and I'm ready for a break.  Finally some time to do some planning for the next few weeks.  Which will make the days go by better.

Enjoy the full moon tonight...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

legs of...lead?

I am whupped.  Yes, whupped.  I ran tonight, only a short/easy run.  It was like running on legs of lead.  Soooooo heavy.  Every step was heavy and kind of painful.  But this is likely because of a vigorous yoga practice last night, in which I really stretched my legs.  And the huge (for me anyway) number of kms I logged last week.  I ran about 20 km in total, and walked (good pace, no strolling) about another 15 km.  I'm finding it difficult to get enough runs in, and I try to make them count when I can.  Tonight was purely because I felt I had to.  It was raining, so I was in the basement (my sons are slobs!!  Sorry guys, but that basement is a sty) on the treadmill.  Even watching tv didn't help.

I realize that I'm trying to cram too much into my life.  Everything is a race.  Writing IEPs, planning for students, working on my course (which is not exactly enjoyable, I don't like my online classmates as much as the last Spec Ed course I took...another story entirely), trying to fit in some family time and some yoga.  It seems neverending.  But I will survive.  That's what I do best.

So I am off to bed.  For a much needed sleep.  I will rub a little Traumeel on my calves, take my Gaba and crawl into my bed.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Grains Are Killing You Slowly

How Grains Are Killing You Slowly

Check this out! When you get up at 3:15 for the day, you tend to have lots of extra time for doing a little web research/reading :)

eagle pose update

I still can't do eagle arms.  I am learning to live with it.  I can many other wonderful poses, so I guess it's ok!

On the skunk front, Pépé Le Pew has not made an encore appearance.  And my house smells a little less like skunk.  The wonderdog may have a very slight skunky odour, but I think I'm ok.  I did ask my colleague I was carpooling and spending the day in the meeting with if I smelled, and she told me just ever so slightly.  But only in the car.  Sitting in the meeting at the board office, every once in a while I would get a whiff of skunk and was mortified to think that someone else might smell my skunkiness.  Like my boss who was right next to me.  But I guess it was ok, because no one was wrinkling their nose or gagging.

The dog and I had a stern chat about leaving those black and white creatures alone.  I think she understood.  At least she wagged her tail and tried to lick my face.  And she seemed grateful that the other dogs we met on our walk yesterday were nice to her even if she did smell a bit.  Curtailed the bum sniffing, they were too busy sniffing her face and chest and giving her the, "oh, man that totally sucks, is your human pissed?" look.  I think she told them it was ok, she had me trained.  And she gets a shiny new collar, since the last shiny new collar (which actually isn't shiny, or new, or even very clean), reeks and is heading to the garbage.  Something that will coordinate well with her bright pink tag.  Maybe black leather with studs.  She is totally badass don't you know?!

Today is a run day!  Actually it was supposed to be yesterday, but it was absolutely beautiful for a walk, and since Seamus agreed to come with Chase and I, that's what I did instead.  He's decided he would like to do some fartleks and also work on endurance.  His basketball coach told him he needs to build up his cardio, he will be counted on this year as a kind of lynchpin of the team.  Which I think totally made his year!  So good for his self-esteem, since he loves sports.  And it's always nice to be special to someone other than your mom.

So anyway (a little sidetracked there...) he would like to do some running with his dad and I!  I am excited.  I'd love to have his older brother, who is totally built like a long distance runner get into running too.  But I don't think that's in the cards right now.  Maybe if he thought it was the complete opposite of what I'd like?  I am serious about passing good eating and exercise habits on to my children.  I want a lifetime of health for them, and not have to work so hard to cultivate it the way I do.  I would like it to just be a part of regular life.  The way it should be.

I will leave you with this quote that I came across on facebook (thanks for turning me onto the page Lisa B!): 

You're a runner and it is for this reason that you should feel free to revise the "skills" section of your resume with the word: BADASS! -Running Ninja! Human Resource Center

I'm working on my resume next.....

Friday, October 7, 2011

eagle pose

At my very beginner yoga class (I usually do the more advanced versions of poses, much to the chargrin of the less bendy ladies), we did eagle pose the other evening.  I can do the legs.  I can stay balanced.  But eagle arms elude me.  My shoulders are fairly open.  I can open my heart and stretch my back.  But my arms refuse to move in a way that would allow them to do eagle arms.  I just watched a "curvy" yoga tutorial hoping for some help.  No luck.  I'm not curvy, maybe I'm just too wide through the shoulders?  After all, not many linebackers are standing on the sideline doing eagle pose before the big game.  And I kind of have linebacker shoulders.  And muscular arms.  I am going to keep practising, because it seriously ticks me off that I can't do a pose.  And even though I'm working on it, I am competetive.  Mostly with myself, and this will just not do.


Garuda = the mythic "king of the birds," the vehicle of Vishnu. The word is usually rendered into English as "eagle," though according to one dictionary the name literally means "devourer," because Garuda was originally identified with the "all-consuming fire of the sun’s rays."

Step by Step

Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot.

Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.

Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.

Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat for the same length of time with the arms and legs reversed.

A little tutorial I swiped from Yoga  Thanks Yoga Journal.  Just in case you really wanted to know what the heck Eagle was.  It's actually Garudasana.  Just in case you needed to know the Sanskrit name.

Anyhow.....other than my disturbing inability to master garudasana, yoga was great.  And running has been pretty darned good too!  I timed my 5k on Wednesday, and I've shaved 3 minutes off of my race time.  Yay me!  Last night I had a tweaky knee, so I chose to walk the 5k and take Chase the wonderdog.  Which is a nice segue...

I am a lucky lady.  My dog defends house and home from all kinds of intruders.  Including skunks.  Yes, as is typical for a skunk spraying, Chase got sprayed last night.  I have a serious snootful of skunk.  I can't smell anything else.  And after I sent Rick to the store for some peroxide, I made a homemade skunk-smell removal thingy and was bathing the poor doggy on the deck, in the dark and cold.  The good news is that the dog doesn't seem to smell skunky.  The bad news is that the house smells like skunk, and I'm going to a meeting at the board office today.  And I'm not convinced that I don't smell like skunk.  Nice.  At this rate I'll make director!  I have candles burning, windows open (and it is NOT warm out at 6:45 a.m., let me tell you!), and I keep smelling myself to see if it's me.  But to be honest, I think I'm going to get sick from inflammation in my sinuses from snorting up so much strong smell last night.  You see, scent allergies apply to skunk scent too.  Good times!

There it is in a nutshell.  I can't do eagle arms and I smell like a skunk.  Today is going to be a great day!

Actually, I am blessed, it will be a great day, all sarcasm aside.  My dog was trying to defend her home and people.  Slightly misguided, but you know.  She is a dog, and instincts rule in that situation.  I may not have eagle arms, but I do have muscles and no batwing going on.  I'll take no eagle and no batwing in a heartbeat, if it meant eagle arms meant batwing, old lady arms.

Hope this lovely Friday beginning our Thanksgiving weekend treats everyone well.  Much sunshine and light.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October, already? Seriously?!

It's October.  Already.  And it's World Vegetarian Day.  Probably not the best day to have planned a birthday party for a certain 43 year old carnivore!  We won't be eating vegetarian today, but there are lots of days that I do eat vegetarian.  Maybe tomorrow can be Bolyea Vegetarian Day.

I can't believe it's October already.  September was a blur of busy-ness.  Both on the homefront and at school.  I am exhausted.  It's always such a crazy month.  I dream of having a large vegetable garden, but at the present I realize that there just plain and simply aren't any days or energy left for wrapping up a garden in September.  So while there are plans afoot for a bigger veggie plot next year, it won't be huge.  Because I haven't completely taken leave of my senses.  The really big garden will likely happen about the same time as I get chickens.  Not until my own chicks are all living on their own, and I have time to fill.  Or at are all driving and can get themselves to all of the after-school activities.

I'm feeling just a little behind these days.  I have a ton of work that I need to catch up on for school, and I need to knock off a bunch of assignments for the course I'm taking.  This past week has been NUTS, and I haven't gotten much of anything done!  Not a single evening spent at home.  Perhaps that's why I'm completely exhausted?  And even this morning, not able to sleep past 5:30.  Which compared to 3:30 or 4:00 is actually sleeping in, right?! 

Everyone else is still sleeping, so I'm basking in the peacefulness of the quiet.  Coffee beside me, computer to myself, sleeping doggy on one side, sleeping kitty on the other side.  I guess Allistair Cookie the kitty boy wasn't ready to uncuddle when I woke up.  It's been delightful to have him sleeping with me, cuddled up against my legs.  And Chase the wonderdog is my constant shadow when I'm home, so no surprise that she is curled up next to me, snoring away.

My girl chicky is home from school for the weekend, bringing with her a lovely friend.  This friend is adorable and oh, so much like Jess.  It was a very fun drive home from Orillia with the 2 girlies laughing and talking and keeping me company.  It gives me hope that we will get through the rougher parenting times with the boys and one day we will have those laughter filled car rides again too.

I had a great phone conversation with my sister on the way to Orillia.  I am truly grateful to have a sister that I can talk to, and who understands.  Yesterday was a very sad day for her and her family.  They had to have their darling dog, Lily, put to sleep.  They are devastated.  And we've had many talks lately about coming to that final decision.  Lily has not been well, and they have done everything they could possibly have done to try to keep her for a few more years.  But sadly, Lily was not going to get better and they made the difficult decision to let her go, for her own good.  It is truly a gift of love and compassion, but it also rips your heart out of your chest, and feels like someone is crushing it in their hands.  It's been 3 years since I had to make that kinder decision for my dog Bailey, but it is as fresh in my mind as if it were me in that vet's office yesterday.  My heart hurts for them, and I'm so sad because I too loved Lily.  Our family dogs are like our family children--we all love them all dearly and have them in our hearts too.  Someday they will be ready to love another dog, but for now they need to heal.

This post didn't start out to be sad and be written with tears spilling down my face.  Honest, it didn't.  But I often find myself letting the words and thoughts go where I obviously need them to go.  And I guess today is another one of those days. 

On a much happier note, we are celebrating Rick's 43rd birthday today!  Most of the family is coming over and we will eat, drink and be merry.  It will be nice to have everyone in our house.  It was kind of going to be an inside and outside on the deck get together, but unless everyone wears their long johns and winter coats I think we'll stay inside.  Cold fall weather here today.  I don't think my brother's family will be able to come, since my nephew Fisher had his tonsils and adenoids out this week, and he is still recovering.  We will miss them.  Luckily next weekend is Thanksgiving, and we will also be celebrating Fisher's 5th birthday.  Another birthday cake!  And pumpkin pie!  Two things that make my heart go pitter pat :)

Since I have rambled on enough, and I only have about a million things to do before this afternoon's guests arrive, I will humbly sign off for today.

Wishing everyone a beautiful, happy, peaceful fall day.  Stay warm and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I am overwhelmed!

Okay, how is it that I keep doing this to myself???  This week is insanely busy, and I started a new course on top of it all.  Of course, running is the thing I haven't been able to fit in, the very thing that would help me to save my sanity!  And I'm writing a blog post at 6:45 a.m. instead of working on something because...well, I like writing blog posts.

Today is my hubby's birthday.  Happy birthday Rick!  I wish we could celebrate together.  We did have a nice lunch on Sunday (he had to cook it) and the kids and I gave him his gift.  Running stuff.  Go figure :)

But the whole reason that my week is nuts and I can't celebrate my hubby's birthday with him is the return of the dastardly afternoon shift.  After hubs being on days all summer, this is a serious shock to my somewhat delicate system (delicate like a goat's system is delicate).  I am it for getting kids to and from various places this week.  Wednesday is a wonderful example of my week--I need to be at the board office for a workshop (network, network, network...), at a basketball practice in Orangeville with Shimmy, picking up Jackson from a volleyball game (I should go to the game, but that's obviously not happening) and at a town meeting about a waste something-or-other company that my township is trying to sneak into my backyard.  So, um, I'm still trying to work it out.  We'll see, maybe I'll master cloning myself by then.  Or maybe I just won't be able to do some of it.

So you can see how it would be difficult to fit in a run.  Last night was no better, tonight is busy (but at least it's a massage and yoga).  Maybe Thursday a run will work.  Friday I'm going to go get Jess at school, because on Saturday we're having a b-day party with family for Rick.  Maybe I should start actually getting out of bed at 3:30 when I wake up instead of laying there trying to go back to sleep and obsessing about everything. 

Maybe I should skip sleeping completely.  Which would actually give me more time to figure out how to parent teenagers, and do some assignments, finish writing IEPs (very important legal documents for students for those non-teachers who for some insane reason are reading my blog), and actually do some planning for school instead of planning day to day.

I have decided to not run in the Run for a Cure on Sunday.  I will do a long run around my town, and then buckle down to get some of my work done.  Maybe I'll be able to fit in church.  A nice plus  if you're a churchgoer (I'm trying to be).

I'm trying to remember to breathe.  Breathe deeply.  Let some of it go.  I'm trying, I honestly am.  I'll let you know when I master it.

Wishing all of you a much more calm and sane week than I have going on. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I may be preaching to the choir...

As my post title suggests, I'm likely preaching to the choir, as the saying goes.  Chances are if you are reading my blog, you are a teacher, live with a teacher, or are my friend, and I'm a teacher.  But I'm exceedingly irked.  I've tried to get past it today, to no avail.  One of my more charming attributes is my tendency to obsess, even perseverate.  Just ask my husband.  In fact it's a family trait.  Just ask my sister (or her husband).
Anyway, last night at the end of the Shimster's basketball practice, a family friend of ours totally put me on the spot and slagged teachers.  Apparently we are a grossly overpaid group of people.  Have I mentioned that about 1/2 the parents of the kids on the team are teachers, the coach is a principal, the other coach is his best friend and obviously likes teachers?  I happened to be talking to this guys wife, and there were no other of my professional brethren in the vicinity.  He lit into me about how much money teachers earn, we're overpaid, too many holidays, blah, blah, blah.  All the crappola I've heard before.  But, it was embarrassing to say the least.  I managed to hold my tongue, because frankly it was neither the time, nor the place.  And I really like his wife who may not be comfortable remaining my friend after I've told her husband to f****off.

Do teachers make a wonderful living?  Absolutely.  Do we have great benefits and holidays?  Absolutely.  I would argue that we earn our $$.  And spend a lot of it on our students and our classrooms.  Not to mention the university courses we regularly take that cost us a fortune.  The next time I`m laying awake for the whole night worrying about someone else's child, I'll be thinking of that family "friend" (with friends like those, who needs enemies?).  Maybe I'll even give him a call and share my thoughts and anxieties about my students, I'm sure at 3 a.m. he'll appreciate that.  And on weekends when I'm writing IEPs, report cards, day plans, unit plans or marking mountains of student work and making anecdotal notes, and my kid needs help with his homework or his jumpshot, or needs a ride to the city for a game, I'll give my buddy a call.  I'm sure he'll understand.  Maybe he'll go to my kid's report card interview for me, because my husband is on afternoons and I'm having interviews with the parents of my students.  And I'll have him go to meet the teacher for me--I'm at my school meeting those parents.  And next summer when my kids want to go to the beach or Canada's Wonderland and I'm too busy working on a course, I'll give him a call.  I'm sure he'll be happy to take them for me.  Maybe he'll offer to pay for the damn course too.

My chosen career is a wonderful one.  I don't deny it.  It allows me to live in a nice house, drive a nice car and pay for my kids activities.  But it will never make me rich.  I have no desire to be rich, I love my job.  But I really don't understand how it is at all acceptable to publically slag all teachers.  I too have my issues with some teachers.  However, it is none of my business how much money someone else makes.  Or how many holidays they get.  And even if I pondered it, I certainly wouldn't deliberately embarrass that person in a public place.  You know what they say about assumptions.  Making assumptions and judgements about the income of others is not only incredibly tacky, it makes you look like a complete ass.

Again, I love my job.  I love the kids.  I work with a wonderful group of people.  But it is not all roses.  I gladly do all of the things I wrote about above.  I have also been sworn at, worried for my physical safety (or that of a colleague), been harassed by a mentally unbalanced parent, been sexually harassed by a parent (that was just a little uncomfortable...), laid off from my job, been recalled to a job I didn't want.  Sometimes it's not a picnic. 

Thank you for the chance to get it off of my chest.  I feel better.  I won't be sitting with that "friend" at any upcoming games or practices.  I don't see any conversation forthcoming either.  I'm not sure I will have as much self-control the next time.

I'm not sure if it's my agitated state, but my run today was sooooo crappy.  I only did 1/2 of what I had planned.  I just didn't have it in me today to push through.  It could be just the result of being overtired.  Who knows?  Tomorrow is another day.  And the annual school Terry Fox Run.  I'm hoping to run with the kids, but we'll see.  It's on grass, not my favourite running surface.

Thank you again choir.  It's been a pleasure preaching at you again today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the fountain of youth

I came across a new-to-me blog today.  A blog post that made me laugh out loud.  The author is a woman in her fifties, and she recounted how her now ex-husband told her about a female colleague whom carried a vibrator in her purse.  And she commented on the absurdity of doing that.  Why???  For "discreet" trips to the washroom?  In the car on the way home?  Here in Ontario you can't talk on your cell phone without bluetooth.  Pretty sure the aforementioned would be breaking the law too.  I gather from the rest of the post that the female colleague and her "device" were the reason for the marital breakdown of the author and her husband.

Anyhow.....I have been pondering the constant race to catch up to the ever elusive fountain of youth.  This woman speaks frankly in her blog (obviously) of her waning desire, related to the hormones of growing older.  As I run my middle-aged butt off, and work so hard to stay young, I wonder why.  Why?!  Aging is inevitable, we all grow older eventually.  In fact, the older we grow, the more lined our face if we are too thin.  No matter how thin or fit, eventually things head south.  You know what I mean.  Things that used to be up high and perky.  Or perkier anyway.

So I ponder, is it really worth the constant desire I have to be thinner, fitter, younger?!  And I come to the conclusion, that yes it is worth it.  We may grow older, but if we are fit, in good health, wrinkles and sagging aside, we are in better over all health.  And those hormones stay a little more balanced.  We elude diseases like cancer, heart disease and other ailments that are related to age and not living a healthy lifestyle.

I will continue to run, do yoga and lift weights (ok, I admit it, start lifting weights again).  I will take my supplements.  I will eat my allergen-free diet.  I don't however believe I will carry a vibrator in my purse.  That seems to be taking it a little far.  I mean really!  Can't you hear it?!  "I think your phone in your purse is vibrating."  "Oh, that's not my phone."  I'm blushing just to think of it.

I apologize if my post is offensive to anyone.  It just struck me as sooooo funny.  I do realize it's a little outside my usual blog topics.  Well, maybe a lot outside my blog topics.  And it will likely be the one and only time the purse contents topic will come up.  At least that kind of purse contents.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  And I took the opportunity to chase the fountain.  Just call me Ponce de Leon.  A beautiful 5k run, and then a nice long Hatha yoga class.  Yoga was just what I needed.  Not a downward dog in sight, but I totally rocked a great goddess and warrior 2.  Just saying. 

Today is a rest day.  No fountain chasing tonight.  Just a basketball tryout for Shimmy.  And I`m glad I ran yesterday.  It`s rainy and not so great for outdoor running tonight.

I`ll let you all check out the blogs I follow to find the post I wrote about.  I think you may find it humourous too. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Terry Fox Run & mood

I am feeling much better.  Due in part I`m sure to spending some quality time with my family at my beautiful sister-in-law`s parents` 50th anniversary party last night.  Have I mentioned that my s-i-l is much more like a sister, than a sister through marriage.  I am lucky.  My brother has wonderful taste and chose another sister for me very well.  And my darling nephews were just that.  Darling.  Fisher and River celebrated their Nana and Poppa`s anniversary in the cutest little khakis, navy sports jackets and striped ties.  And my other nephew Kai was there to whoop it up with his cousins.  Complete with a pair of Blundstone boots--my fav boots in the whole world.  Rick and I danced to some old-timey country music, enjoyed our nephews cutting a rug and watched our parents' generation dancing--they dance so well! 

And then today we ran in the Terry Fox Run with Team Running Free.  I ran 7k and feel great!  Sore hip and lower back feel much better after running, and spirits feel great after running for a great cause with a great group of people.  I am honoured to run with our friend Lisa who has fought breast cancer, and even though she`s still undergoing "stuff", runs with a smile on her face and a positive outlook that is completely inspiring.

I'm not sure what has been going on with me lately.  Like I said, moon phase, middle age or just the changing seasons.  But I do know that days like today make it easier and move me from morose introspection to a sunnier happier outlook.  Thank you endorphins, family and Terry Fox.  I am grateful.

I am the coordinator for the school Terry Fox Run on Friday.  Fingers and toes crossed for the beautiful weather we enjoyed today for our run.  I am looking forward to running with the kids.  And sunshine would be icing on the cake.  

Now I must quit procrastinating and do the pile of marking that I have been dodging for the past week.  I'm going to sit on the deck, drink a Bud Light with lime and mark away.

Wishing everyone a sunny, happy Sunday afternoon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

All out of sorts

I don't know if it's the changing seasons, the moon phases, middle age, or just the beginning of school.  I feel all out of sorts, and not comfortable in my skin these days.  I feel like I'm pretending, going through the motions.  Earlier this week I even questioned if I'm in the right profession--something that never occurs to me, I've always felt called to do what I'm doing.

Discontent.  Yuck.  I'm not enjoying it, although I recognize that's it's a sign of growth and change.  I find myself questioning my role as a mother, wife, teacher, friend.  I'm pretty sure it's not the people around me, it's inside me.  I kind of feel at a spiritual crossroads of sorts.  I'm trying to make my way in a fashion that feels right, and something's just a little off these days.

But it's been coming for a few months, these feelings.  The "good girl" trap, consumed by guilt and that my choices are somehow not moral enough.  Feeling like breaking free in some ways, leaving behind patterns that don't work anymore.  But held back by fear of causing hurt to others, fear of the unknown, and fear of ultimately ending up alone.

It will sort itself out, it always does.  I worry a little when running and yoga don't fix these feelings though. Prayer hasn't been working either, I'm distracted while I'm praying.  I'm distracted when I'm running.  Yoga the other night was great, but hasn't been since then (when I've mustered the energy to practice).

Maybe it stems from putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect. I don't know, I do know that I hope this too passes--and quickly.  I'm not at my best, and I'm not performing well in any of the areas of my life.

Wishing peace for others during this time of change in our hemisphere.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What a day!

Today was one of those days.  You know the kind.  Tricks you into thinking it's going to be a great day, then, "Wham!", right in the kisser!  I shouldn't really complain.  I have a great class.  A few little bumps today.  What's a little fire in the amphitheatre?!  It's all Science, right?  Apparently in addition to magnifying glasses, my cell phone (for the time and alarm so we know when we have to go in), extra pencils and my whistle, I also need to bring a fire extinguisher, or large bucket of water to outdoor Science lessons.  You know, the necessities.  *sigh*  Sometimes my great ideas just go horribly awry.

I was totally lulled into complacency by my fabulous evening last night--massage and then a new yoga class.  I actually almost dozed off during savasana.  That NEVER happens to me!  I slept like a proverbial baby, and could have easily slept for a few more hours instead of getting up this morning.  I will be much more suspicious the next time I sleep that well.  Life is not going to trick me again!

I am enjoying a nice glass of cab sav, from a nice Ontario winery.  And I'm going to indulge in Big Brother tonight.  If I can't win 1/2 a million dollars, I'd like to watch someone else.  And I actually hope it's Rachel.  She's annoying as all get out, but she is a competitor.  And she has earned it. 

I'm grateful that my slow carb diet my ND has me on allows me a glass of red wine, everyday.  I only do it now again, but today is definitely a glass of wine day.

I sincerely hope that all my friends have had a better day than I.  And I look forward to a much better day tomorrow.  Starting with downward dog.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

I survived

Well friends, I survived the first week of school.  I am also dog-tired and my lower back is not feeling great.  The tile on cement floors at school are brutal until you get used to them again.  And since I started off the week with a few middle-aged twinges resulting from Monday's race, I'm really feeling it.  Sore hip flexor/groin from the race too (that uneven field section?!  likely), so no running this week.  Not that I had the energy.  That would have detracted from my mouth hanging open, feet up time.  Not nearly as much yoga as I wanted either.  Please see aforementioned reasons.  This weekend, and next week bring new opportunities.  And the second week is always easier than the first.  Everyone's back into routines, things start to settle down.

Both my boys seem happy with their first week too.  Jackson is already on the volleyball team at the high school, and Shim is working on charming the ladies.  Not just at his school either.  He's working on the crop of grade 8 honeys at MacPhail too.  It's going to be an interesting ride through adolescence with that one!

On the diet front, nutrition has been great this week!  I am following my new plan, eliminating carbs except for slow carbs (legumes, like beans and lentils).  And it's actually fairly easy.  I did have a small meltdown one evening when I came home and Shimmy was baking chocolate chip cookies.  That boy can bake!  And those are one of my favourites.  But I got right back on track the next day, and only had a bun at supper at Subway.  Other than that--easy peasy.  And I have to admit, I'm feeling much better for it already!

On Thursday we took Jess to move into her room for university.  Which is why I ended up eating at Subway.   And I have to tell you, that was one yummy sub.  I also have to admit that I was hungry enough to eat my own young at the time.  But they were saved by Subway :)  And the move in went quite smoothly.  Jess was super anxious, but managed to settle down.  We hung around until it was time for  her to catch the shuttle from her hotel to another for a huge rez meeting.  I cringe to think how much it`s costing Lakehead to house the rez students, since rez isn`t ready.  As my sister, whose hubs is involved in the construction industry said, somebody is getting sued.  Big time.  Anyhow, Jess is settled at the Best Western, and according to her texts and phone call, having a really good time.  She`s met a couple of girls from our area (carpool!) and is thinking leaving home is a good thing.  Which is a relief.  Her boyfriend came with us the other night, and while they are going to miss each other, I think the time apart is a good thing.  Great guy.  Really great.  Very helpful helping us move her stuff, and helping to keep her calm.  And a really good sport to ride home and make conversation with her dad and I.  Not just any boyfriend could do that!

The first week of school went well.  So nice to hear from a few parents that both they and their kids are glad to have me as a teacher again.  Really nice note from one parent, and her son brought me a squash from their garden.  We had a chuckle at that when I ran into her in the parking lot after school.  Some kids bring flowers, but not this guy.  He informed his mom that Mrs. Bolyea loves squash.  So he brought me a squash.  Did I mention that I love this kid?!  I taught him in grade 2 and I'm thrilled to have him again.  Along with the rest of the little guys I had when they were in grade 2.  I'm a lucky teacher.  Those ones, plus a few others I didn't teach equals a great group of kids.  It's going to be a great year!!

As I sit in my family room writing this, and surveying my kitchen/family room area, I am reflecting on my decision to declutter in my pursuit of happiness.  I didn't do so well.  It looks very lived in.  And cluttered.  But you know what, I'm ok with that.  It is what it is.  Not a whole lot of pretence Chez Bolyea.  We are authentic.  And that's worth striving for.

One last note.  At our school, every Friday we have an assembly for YARFY.  Which stands for You Are Responsible For Yourself.  And guess who got the very first yarfy of the year?!  That's right, Mrs. Bolyea.  The boss totally embarrassed me in front of the whole school, giving me a yarfy for picking up garbage in the hall.  And then insisted I needed to have my picture taken just like the kids.  So I of course really hammed it up, and posed for a picture (looking like a complete dementoid in the process).  It was fun, the kids and the staff had a good chuckle.  It's good to start the year off on that note.  And I will be immortalized on the yarfy bulletin board, looking like a lunatic, totally unphotogenic and beet red from the intense blushing.  But as one of my colleagues said, I made the boss laugh.  In front of the kids.  A difficult feat to achieve.  I love my job.   

How was your first week of school? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ferguson Run and Labour Day

Early this Labour Day, Rick and I headed to Orangeville to pick up our race kits for the Ferguson Run.  It was pissing down rain.  And frickin' cold.  I was fine with cold, wet to the skin not so much.  But anyway...we picked up our race kits and then hung our in our warm van until it was time for our group picture with our running clinic peeps.  ALOT of our peeps turned out for the race, which was great!  It was nice to be part of a group cheering each other on.  At 10 o'clock the race began, still raining.  About a kilometre in the rain stopped, which was delightful because it finally gave us a chance to get warmed up.  What a great race!!  I did walk over the uneven ground, especially on the wet grass, I was afraid I would turn an ankle and end my day.  But I finished the race running.  It was nice, Norm from Running Free was at the finish line taking our pictures as we crossed, and since Rick finished ahead of me, he was waiting on me too.  Fantastic!  And I was really pleased with my time.  Not like a speed demon, but great for me, and that's all I was counting on.  I can't wait to do it again, only hold the rain next time.  :)

We hung around for the awards, there were some amazing finishing times.  Including the over sixty guy who finished in 19 minutes and change.  Let's just say that he was considerably faster than I!  It was cold, and as soon as the awards were done we headed to Swiss Chalet for some after-race fuel.  Yum.  And also the last of the carbs for a while.  To the Second Cup next door for a nice hot London Fog (Rick had a chai latte).  When we got in the van I took off my soaking runners and socks and let my little tootsies warm up under the fan.  It was nice.

Home again, had a nice hot Epsom salt soak.  In my jammies and considering the things I should be getting ready for tomorrow.  The race was a great way to spend my last day of vacation, but the inertia now is less than ideal.  A little while longer sitting on my butt and then I really need to get ready for tomorrow.  Including making sure everyone has clean socks and unders.  Especially me.  Somehow that ends up being a problem.  Not the best way to start the new beginning of the school year.

I need to get the bunny ready to head back to school, check on the chrysalises (one is almost ready to become a butterfly!) and gather my various things which seem to be strewn all over the house.  Suffice it to say that I may not actually feel ready yet.  But that doesn`t really matter  now, on the eve of day.

How are you spending Labour Day? 


Saturday, September 3, 2011

invitational learning

At school, many of the teachers are participating in an invitational learning project.  It's self directed, and based in part on Dan Pink's work, Drive.  Each person participating chooses something meaningful to them to learn/study/practise for the month of September.  We are modelling it for our students as an example of intrinsic motivation (for non-teachers, that just means motivation from inside of us, not because we will get an external or extrinsic reward).  Intrinsic motivation is key to learning.  When students are only learning because that mean old bag (insert teacher's name here), is making them or to get the reward at the end, it is not nearly as meaningful or long-lasting.  An example would be memorizing spelling words for a weekly spelling test.  Great, you memorized 10 words, got perfect on the test and then couldn`t spell them correctly again in day to day writing if your life depended on it.  Get it?

So anyway, we are all choosing meaningful to us projects that we will share publicly.  My friend and colleague, Cathy, has spearheaded this project and has done a fabulous job painting the front bulletin board at school and posting our smiling faces.  It is the first thing students and parents will see upon entering the school.  Now that's putting ourselves out there!

Here's a link to Dan Pink's video about motivation if you're so inspired:
It's worth watching--and entertaining.

My invitational learning project is learning the habit of daily yoga practice.  The only thing keeping me from doing daily yoga is myself.  I want to develop the daily habit.  I don't mean a 90 minute practice every single day, but even 20 minutes of asana, 10 minutes of savasana and some meditation.  Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  My yoga practice has been sorely lacking over the summer.  Why?  Laziness maybe, ADD (seriously, I am all over the place lately), lack of motivation.  In some ways the motivation is extrinsic--I won't fail my students, or fail publicly.  But by the end of the month that daily practice should be intrinsically motivating.  Daily intention to ground me.  Time to myself (this is huge for moms).  Lower blood pressure.  Bendiness and nicer feeling joints and muscles.  Peace. 

Now I am me, and not all happy dappy and hippie dippy.  I can see some issues with this project.  And in a not very yoga way, I'm going to point out that it will give fuel to the self-righteous.  I am not interested in the gloating, bragging of some people.  I don't care that some projects will be the project to end all projects, and only done properly by a select few.  And I won't have much tolerance for the opinion that we should all bow down and do as others are doing (or say they are doing....).  There are those who miss the point and will nauseate the rest of us with the endless yammering on of how wonderful they are, and their work is the only worthwhile work.  What-freakin'-ever.  I will bite my tongue and close my door.  I am doing this for me, and by extension for the kids.  I can almost hear the chuckles of some of my colleagues as they read this post.  At least this paragraph.  In fact, I'm giggling to myself.  Sometimes I wish I could just say these things out loud.  But I am following my intention that I have set for myself--play nicely with others.  :)

Goals, intentions, they are all valuable teaching and learning tools.  I feel fortunate and grateful to have a wonderful group of people to work with--they inspire me daily.  The goals that my colleagues set for themselves should be commended and recognized.  So I am doing that here.  I think our students are very lucky kids to have such a committed and wonderful bunch of teachers at our school.  You guys rock!  And I'm happy to be part of such a great staff.

Namaste friends, I look forward to your successes (and my own).

Happy long weekend!