Monday, October 27, 2008

Chakra Colors....

Well, Friday was Provincial Conference Day here in Nova Scotia. This day is when all teachers, EA's and school staff sign up and travel to a conference, somewhere in the province. That goes for my trade too, and I was lucky enough to sign up for a course that was happening right in my own community... It had nothing to do with my line of work, but it sounded fun, and it was close!

My day started with a 2 hour lecture on Chakras... you know, those energy forces that exist in everyone's bodies. I learned there are 7 of them and they have their own colors, they control different parts of your bodies and everyone has them. Some of their chakras are stronger than the others... so we took a test... it involved 25 or 30 questions.. here are just a few of the "yes" or "no" statements:

I generally feel in harmony with the universe...Yes or No

My intuition is quite well-developed.. yes or No

I feel emotionally connected with other people...yes or no

I am deeply afraid of loneliness... yes or no

I know how to enjoy life... yes or no

I have many different interests.. yes or no

I am at peace within myself and not easily thrown off center...

to name a few.. there were 28 of them. All as deep as these ones... so, we had to answer yes or no to these in a crowd of 20 ladies... in about 5 minutes. These were deep questions.. ummmm, harmony with the universe... like do they mean the whole universe... like the milky way too, or just my community... like so I take into consideration that I work very hard to not pollute the earth but 50% of the world couldn't care less about our environment... oh geesh...

Anyway, I answered all the questions and then we did a mathematical exercise on assigning numbers to chakras and well... the results were... I am balanced in two of my chakras, and over chakra'd in 3 and under chakra'd in 2. I am low in the Forehead one, and the Splenic one..

Very interesting.... the forehead one (or the third eye) which is located between the eyes... controls your cerebellum, eyes, ears, face and sinuses. Also the hormonal system... ugh... great.... just what I need. when you balanced in this one, you can see things clearly, like one's purpose in life. You have good intuition and clairvoyance. You can see problems from a higher vantage point. when you are low in this one ... you are prone to greed, a lust for power and selfishness... oh great... geesh.

The other one I am low in is the Secral chakra.... it controls your ovaries.. hormones.. again, ugh.

So chakras are sort of like horoscopes, fun to read about but you only believe what you want to. I did enjoy the day, and I believe that this is an ancient believe and practice with some validity. I thought about it a lot this weekend and read a few things, just for fun. But the test we took could hardly give you believable results but it was sort of funny how I am low in the two that control your hormones... geesh.

The afternoon was a whole afternoon of Pilates... I loved it. I have actually done pilates a lot of times with a video tape and with a couple of afterschool exercise friends. but this was a real life Pilates expert... sooo fun and sooo informative. And she was funny too. I am not sure how the other ladies enjoyed it but I wish I could take her class every day.. it was a blast...

And there is was... Conference Day 2008... done..... and quite a success in my mind.!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Fall Drive

Sometimes when your sad, nothing can bring you out of it. I was in quite a slump over the past month, and every thing seemed muted. I was so worried that I would miss the fall. I miss my dad and I didn't realize how much until this fall. The summer was filled with freedom, quiet, solitude and family. Everyday, I would think of dad, and depending on what was happening I would think... wow, I couldn't have done this if Dad was here (mostly trips, renovations, weird meals, hee hee) or I would think.. wow, Dad would have loved this... what ever it was. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't still say "I can't believe he is gone". It all happened sooo fast.
The fall was the start of many things.... school, normal meal times, TV shows, sports and activities that I am involved in. Its not something you consciencely think about but it creeps into your body. Sadness, an emptiness.... it sort of just took over... because I didn't feel it coming on and it just got the best of me.... Once I recognised it.. I couldn't get rid of it.... so I stewed... I sat in silence.... everything just seemed dull.
I figured it out, after a while, and had a few good snotting cries, whether I wanted to or not and I talked about it... Talking about it is the key Even though I hate talking about such depressing stuff, it worked... I can start to enjoy life again, and cry when I need to, but then is back to fall colors, fun friends, quiet mornings, and my family.
The valley is gorgeous.... Terry and I took a fall drive and I just happened to have my camera... At the very top of the mountain, we travelled a few roads we have NEVER been on... the view was amazing... and the cows were as curious about us as we were about them....
The Nictaux dam and falls is at the very end of the Nictaux Canal that we enjoy kayaking on. I think it might be a little difficult to kayak through these rapids but they sure were pretty to look at... the canal ends in a pond, no where near these falls, so there isn't any risk of going down by mistake. Believe me I made sure of that!
Many years ago, we grew hundreds of these color corn cobs with our friend Fred in Lawrencetown. I always have warm feelings when I see these..... we tied them up with paper ribbon and sold them. The Blue Jays make short work of them when I use them outside... but I would rather they got them then the compost ... anyway...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Knitting 101

I hate knitting. Its so weird. My two kids love knitting... they are self taught. My sister is an amazing knitter.. and my mother in law is as well.

I find knitting long, boring and complicated. I like knitted things.. but I NEVER fail to appreciate and admire any knitted item.... because I KNOW how much time and patience goes into knitting it!

That being said.... I started a pair of socks.... BiRKEN"SOCKS.".. you know.. big funny socks that you wear with your birkenstocks... well, actually, I have made about 5 pairs over the past few years but... I started a pair on our trip to Ontario.. just Terry and I in the car. The trip was in the summer of 2007. I knit one entire sock on the way up to Ontario and started the second sock on the way back. then I drove a lot of the way back and therefore didn't knit much. That was 16 months ago...

In cleaning up my room the other day... you know, one of those DEEP cleans... I found the finished sock, and the unfinished sock. they are BUTT ugly... but funny to wear camping or something. I am going to finish the second sock... and have I told you .... I HATE knitting... well I do..

but I am going to finish it!

This is the first finished sock and this is the unfinished sock....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frostie froggie

Can you believe it is Oct 22 ish and we have had 4 nights in a row that are -3 each night, with days no warmer than 7 degrees..... and my little pond frog is still in my pond in the afternoons. I am worried to death about him. My pond has a rubber bottom, no mud, and I am worried that he is going to wait too long to find a muddy place to burrow in for the winter and he is going to end up freezing. Terry thought we could scoop him up and bring him to the river on the weekend.. We might do that...

Frost has hit..... ewwwww The hostas are yellowed....The marigolds are black (and Yellow) the Sedum is red.. and beautiful I might add

And a lovely shot of Julies two trees in her yard that I admire each day...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The End of the Season

All the blogs I follow have a reoccurring theme this week, and I hate to be the same but its all about the fall... really, isn't it. As you are aware, we didn't get kayaking on Saturday like we had hoped because of car troubles... but I did take my camera along and got some glorious pics of colorful trees... This is in Julie's front yard... I drive by it every day coming home from work... amazing!

Sunday started off chilly and sunny... the leaves were falling like snow on the lawn and Terry went golfing in the morning while I was at church. when i got home we decided to give the kayaks one last try... and again, an adventure because we have never kayaked in the cold before.
While I was at church, my friend Doug were chatting during the lull between things and he talked about going out to his cottage for the afternoon at Trout Lake. I talked about taking the yaks out one last time and he convinced me that we should try Trout Lake... Well, it didn't take much to convince Terry and we started packing up things into the car. As a fleeting thought, I grabbed a couple of pairs of gardening gloves with the little rubber bumps to help lift the freezing cold kayaks up onto the car. Have you ever tried gripping super cold plastic with cold grip whatsoever...

well, those sweet little gardening gloves kept my hands warm as we paddled the lake. The sunny cool day turned into a brisk cloudy and windy afternoon and my fingers were frozen. Here we are, both Terry and I paddling in the winds and choppy waves with our bright yellow gardening gloves on with little pink and green flowers on them!!!! tooooo funny, really, and I can't believe I didn't get a pic!

One of the main reasons I wanted to go out one last time was to see the fall colors around the lake or a river... sadly, the colors were disappointing at Trout Lake for two reasons.. There were a lot of spruce and pine trees which are green, and the fact that the leaves have been falling at a tremendous speed all weekend... there wasn't much color... just a bit of yellow left in the trees.
We did have a great afternoon, and it is a lovely lake, filled with large boulders in certain areas, and some under ground boulders that caught both Terry and I by surprise. I got hung up on a rock 30 seconds after I start out... and Terry got hung up on a boulder and it was sort of funny... he was paddling along and then all of a sudden we heard an eerie scrapping sound and his kayak stopped dead. We looked across at each other and we were silent... he leaned forward, gave a good paddle and he scrapped forward and slid back into the water.... we both cracked right up laughing, but it made us a little more attentive to wear we were paddling!We did pull our kayaks up at this hideway cottage in the woods and explored a bit of the land. This is my friend Pat's family cottage, but I wasn't really sure it was, so I peeked in the windows and looked for some clue to the who owned it.. I felt a bit like a peeping Tom so we left after a few minutes... I did find out today that we were indeed on the right property!!
Our little kayaks are safely tucked away for the winter and we will spent the winter dreaming up new places to explore.!

Monday, October 20, 2008

will you do me a favor....

My sister is a Master Quilter... I think so anyway. She loves to quilt, and she sews almost every day. She is always looking for projects to work on.
Every year she makes a quilt top and donates it to a church, where they quilt it all winter and then raffle it off to make money...
This year, she took pictures at a quilt show of some of the quilts she would like to make and donate to the church. she can't choose and she has asked that all my friends go to her blog and post a comment on her blog as to which quilt you like. Any of the quilts on that page of her blog.. not just the last 4...
she needs some opinions....

thank you friends!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adventure... what do you call adventure!

Ok, some people call an a tour through a scary set of caves in South Africa, like a young teacher just did and put pics on Facebook. Others call an adventure.... kayaking though a fast moving river, navigating through little rapids and fallen trees.

We had a different adventure yesterday. Our afternoon was suppose to be kayaking down the Nictaux canal, in chilly weather to first off, take some beautiful fall pics and secondly to have one last trip out on our beloved kayaks.

After a Saturday morning of cleaning bathrooms, cleaning out the fridge and swiffering doggie hair off the new floors, we headed out of the house to put the kayaks on the car. Terry and I were dressed in layers and warm pants and I haven't been in the kayaks for weeks so I was pretty excited. Terry started to load up the car and as I came out of the house, he was standing by the car with a really mad look on his face. There was a nail sticking out of our back tire.

Terry stood there and grumbled and paced for 5 minutes and then we braved the roads and went to Canadian Tire to get is repaired. We had first decided we were going kayaking anyway, and would risk the nail, but then Terry touched the nail and hissing started! So, we decided we would get it fixed.. Of course, Terry doesn't have any love for our Canadian Tire, and was sooooo sure they wouldn't have any tires or time to fix it... and I was trying to make light of his hatred for the store... but alas, no tires and no mechanics on Saturdays... after noonhour! ugh....

We drove home and on the way home Terry suggested that we drive to N.M. to the Canadian Tire there... that is 30 minutes on the highway... now the tire was hissing in our driveway... can you imagine on a 30 minute drive going 100km.... So I packed my cellphone and my camera and off we went on our adventure....

The colors in the valley are spectacular and my camera, through the car windows, going 110, with a hissing tire, just didn't do the colors justice. But we did see the "Walker". Any of you who live in the valley know this guy. This fella is about 70 years old, and walks the highway everyday with those walking poles and he walks pretty darn fast. If that isn't funny enough, the look on his face as he's walking is incredible. His teeth are totally bared and gritted together like he was snarling at an enemy. The fact is, I think that is his smile!

Well our adventure ended safely in the parking lot of the NM Canadian Tire, they had 4 new tires for us (it was time for new tires anyway) they were on sale, and they put them on in less than 40 minutes. Just long enough for Terry and I to wonder the mall hand in hand, buying nothing but browsing lots. We looked at artwork and shoes (for him), range hoods and bathroom mirrors. We shopped at the NM Sobeys which was an adventure since I haven't been there in at least 2 years. We have shopped more in Halifax than we every have in NM even though its 30 minutes away... geesh.

There was groups selling 50/50 tickets for the high school, and another group selling pumpkins for the Children's Wish foundation. There was a BBQ for a dance group and a market of veggies in the parking lot. Even though it wasn't as "adventurous" as cave walking or bungee jumping, it was still really fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Basket fun

As most of you know, we are a "pet" family. This weekend we were bombarded with pets and I truly haven't laughed that much in years. Michelle and Scott's two new kittens kept us in stitches all weekend. Mollie was sort of ok with them at first, until Apollo (black and white one)tried out one of his mega kitten spits (which strangely sounded like whip cream coming out of one of those spray cans!).. The spit started the war and Mollie ended it with a ferocious snarl. This began the Apollo vs Mollie war that ended when Apollo left on Monday afternoon. But truthfully, they began tolerating each other in the room together by about Saturday afternoon, but they never really were comfortable with each other. Believe it or not, Mollie is afraid of Apollo, and vice versa. Sirius (the black one), on the other hand was pretty cool with Mollie and by Monday they were sharing the big bench in front of the birdfeeder, watching the birds dive bomb the feeder.
The birdfeeder was the coolest "bird" TV they have ever seen. Besides birds divebombing, there were bright yellow leaves falling too. they were almost as exciting. They could only get into this window to watch when Mollie wasn't hogging it, but they both took the opportunity to watch "the Bird channel" as often as possible.

The 25 year old cat scratching post was the BIGGEST hit of the weekend. So much fun that Mick and Scott took it home with them. This post has been around since our first cat Cindy in the early 80's, and its sat at the top of our stairs for 20 years until the new floors came in. Pika was excited to see the post come back out of the closet but was less than thrilled to see the little kittens on it. the kittens didn't take long to learn how to climb it, and they played on it for hours, and they also snoozed on it several times a day..

Our basket on the table has been tons of entertainment for our own cats over the years and the kittens were equally thrilled with it, for playing in and snoozing.
And several times a day we brought them outside, both front and back yards to play in the "wilderness". Pretty funny for us, and really fun for them.
Mollie slept soundly for hours after they left. I don't think she could quite relax while they were zooming around the house, and she barked constantly at them while they rough housed! Its very quiet here now....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Breaking with tradition.. building new routines

Family, fall leaves, abundance of food.
That's what I love about Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving was all that... but different.
I have always loved Thanksgiving but I appreciated it more in the last few years. When Stephanie left for University 6 years ago, our home structure changed. We were missing our oldest girl, full of useless knowledge and witty humor around the supper table. The other change was bringing Natsumi into our home, a Japanese exchange student in grade 10, the same grade and age of Michelle. It was a very hard first 6 weeks that year, full of emotional moments for all of us. I missed Stephanie a lot, I questioned my sanity a lot as well, with an extra teenager in the house. Natsumi missed her mom, Michelle felt neglected with the extra attention Natsumi was getting from us.

And then came Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have Stephanie home and we fill our weekend with a cooking, eating, laughing and even a hike. We made perogies and everyone had a job... Natsumi made dough, I rolled the dough, Michelle and Scott made the perogies and Stephanie cooked them. And we made tons. That one event brought the "Family" feeling back into our home. I can not describe the positive change after that.. but it was like a Thanksgiving miracle, I guess. This pic was during our hike on Mickey Hill, just before we brought Stephanie back to the FerryBut the other thing that happened was that I began to think of Thanksgiving differently. It made me more THANKFUL for my family. That Thanksgiving was the start of kids coming home for Thanksgiving, for them to be thankful as well, for their home. From that Thanksgiving on, we were always waiting for someone to come home. 4 years ago it was Scott, Michelle and Stephanie who were coming home (even Natsumi came home her first thanksgiving away to university).

This year was no different in that respect. But while we were camping at Keji in September will Jill and the gang, we told them about how we usually tried to do a hike at Keji or some thing on Thanksgiving weekend. And the idea was born.

This thanksgiving was a gathering at Keji at the cookhouse by Mills Falls. In all my years at Keji, I didn't even know this falls existed. When Sandra told me a few years ago about this falls, I stored that in my head, as a place to go. I have been to keji about 4 times since that idea and never really got there... for several reasons...

What a glorious day we had. First off Jill, her family and Sara (Jill's sister) and her family camped at Keji for the weekend. They had sunshine, warm nights, no rain (until today, that is) and even trick or treating. Sunday afternoon we arrived at Keji and they had the cookhouse all set up with all the comforts of home. The stove had a fire in it, there was coffee on, and freshly carved pumpkins decorated the tables. They found the falls yesterday and decided to move in early in the day and make breakfast there in order to reserve the cookhouse for our Thanksgiving feast. Jill's mom and step dad joined us, as well as Taryn and her friend Jenn (from Bermuda, no less). There were 17 of us, plus 3 dogs. What a glorious feast we had.. and thanks to Jill's mom for the yummy turkey, we had pretty close to a traditional Thanksgiving supper including 6 pies. We hiked and chatted, took pictures, of course, and enjoyed the colors of nature.

I am very thankful for my family and I am even more thankful for my friends. What a great way to spend Thanksgiving and what a great way to start a new tradition!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our newest family member!

My kids have been raised in a house of pets. I was raised with one pet at a time. I never really heard of having "a dog AND a cat". Or two cats even. Terry's family have had more pets at a time then I had my whole "growing up life". They had cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and fish. Sometimes all at the same time.
Terry and I started our marriage with two little hamsters, Rodney and Magnum (both girls, but we didn't know that when we got them) Terry bought me the hamsters for Xmas before we got married. Then came our first cat, that Terry also brought home. At one point in our married life we had 5 cats and two dogs, a guinea pig and fish, along with 2 daughters and my dad all under one roof. Our house is relatively empty now, with just Mollie, Pika, Terry and I. Oh, and a few fish in a tiny tank on the kitchen counter.

So, back to what I started with... our kids have been surrounded by pets and therefore its not surprising that they have started their "independent" lives surrounded by pets.

Stephanie has two sweet cats, Paralax and Tonks. They are different from each other, just like any siblings.... one is loving and nosy, the other is shy and mysterious. She has had up to four cats living in her apt but she didn't own them all.

Michelle and Scott couldn't wait for the time when they would have their own place and one of the reasons was to get their own pets. They were limited to what they could own, as the landlord had pretty strict rules and they decided on guinea pigs. With careful planning, research and good timing, they purchased their pigs locally and perfectly timed for when they moved in. I am sure you have seen pics of these little gaffers and they are still babies, learning not to bite or pee on you. Over the summer though, they began to notice that several of their apt neighbours had kitty cats in their windows. It started to really bother Scott, who, as you know, totally loves our cats. He started to get down right bitter that their landlord made them jump through hoops in order to "allow" them to have little pigs in their apt.

This, coupled with her own desire to own a cat, prompted Michelle to pull a little surprise for Scott. She found a sweet little kitten on Kijiji, and started making her plan. the kitten was too young to leave her mom yet, so Michelle had a few weeks to plan everything. She got everyone involved from getting Scott out of the house, to hiding all the kitty supplies. Michelle and Grace made a trek to Bedford under a false story and when Scott got home from a day with his friends... the little black and white kitten was waiting for him. "Phanny" short for Phantom, was named because of her black face and white mask around her eyes... She kept them on their toes for the first week, but she had the last laugh. Her first vet appointment revealed the SHE is really a HE... and he is Phanny no longer. He is now Apollo and is in his toddler stage now, wrecking havoc on their apt.... hee hee... serves them right, I say.
We will meet this little butterball at Thanksgiving. Imagine, he will meet all of us too, dog and cat included... oh my.