Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Forgotten Supportive Under Garments Story

So, Laura's post inspired me. After Phil and I had split up, I was devastated - really, really devastated and it took a loooooong time for me to even start to climb out of the pit of my own self-judgement. I thought that I never deserved to ever even date a guy again. But eventually I got over it and started to think that maybe I could be happy again and that life could still be good for me.

After about 2 years, I started to think that I was ready to get out there on the social scene. There was a local bistro (closed now) that used to get in live, original music on a regular basis. I had been once with my (married) friend when her brother was playing. (now he plays on a regular basis and I've been to almost all of his local shows and he plays around with guitar effects in his office downstairs and is the father of my youngest child but then he was just my very good friend's brother) I thought I would go out by myself.

This was a big deal for me. In my previous life as a mormon, I met people at church functions in a very tight community and putting this kind of effort was really not necessary. Although I had been married (and divorced by then) twice, I had not dated much and I had little experience being a single person 'out in the world'.

I arranged it all. It was a Friday night. Erin was babysitting. I put Kaetlyn and Drew to bed before I left. I showered and did my hair and put on my new dress. I called a cab because I didn't have a car in those days and the buses here don't run at night. I was so nervous. The place (Pandoras) was almost empty. There was a band playing country/rock. I sat at a table by myself and ordered tea or juice and when I sat down, there, by myself, I noticed that in my very nervous state, I had forgotten that certain supportive undergarment. Luckily my dress was of the loose type but I suddenly felt half naked and ridiculous!

So there you have it, in sister solidarity! Now, I often go about braless on purpose - at least 1 day a week since my friend, Denny forwarded this article to me. Check out the links - the science seems real to me and it makes sense.

Blessings to all Moms and Dads!
I found some really good links about how bras are linked to breast cancer and fibocystic breasts- I have to say I found this info out about a 2 months ago- I'm experimenting myself because for the last year or so my breasts have become really sore and swollen a week or two before my moon time,sometimes even longer! I'm not a coffee drinker, although I love organic raw cacao =) I haven't worn traditional bras for about 10 years, only the shelf bra types that are built into shirts, but they too cut off circulation with the elastic stuff on the bottom. Just check and make sure that there is no imprints or red marks on your skin after wearing them, because that would be a sign it is cutting off the circulation. Acording to the studies and unlike popular western belief you are suppose to let your breast bounce around especially while you are dancing, running,Yoga, Pilates ect... because it is healthy for your breast circulation and your lymph nodes in that area to be flushed
I'll tell you my story...It's only been a month since I've officially gone totally braless (i'm a small B cup) but it seems it has only taken a few weeks to adjust to not wearing half my shirts with built in shelf bras =( and so far I can't believe it- no soreness! I'm serious! I'm not sure what the answer is to women here that have big breasts by I think women in other cultures have big beautiful breasts too but dont' wear bras either, I'm not sure how they deal with it with sore backs, although I would recomend a good Pilates and Yoga instructor to help strenthen your core and back to support the extra weight. I'm putting this info out here because the bra industry is so HUGE just like the sugar industry and they have a big invested interest in making sure women feel that they have to wear these things, and I'm sure they will tell you that there are no links to bras and breast cancer and fibocystic breasts- just like in the olden days with corsets, and it seems to
have evolved into bras. Even if you can't go cold turkey, try just as soon as you get home take them off... There is a book written about a scientist (I heard him on the radio) who discovered these links and wrote a book and he talks about his journey to try and educate people of the dangers of bras- very interesting story-and how controversial this is! The name of the book is Dressed to Kill :the link between breast cancer and bras by Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer...

here are some more links...




Much Love, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Show Me the Money

So after that hard week of playing violin, Rhiannon had it in her mind to make some money. She wanted to treat Dean and I to some ice cream on our way home the next day. Here's how she earned money....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Other Thing I Came Home To

It's amazing what a garden can do in 10 days.... When I left, there was barely a ripe tomato to be had and I had to buy some to make the greek salad we had while camping. And the zucchinis were only a couple of inches long so I couldn't take one to roast on the fire the way we like. And there was only 1 cucumber ready to pick.....

And then when we came home, it was over flowing with produce. The zucchinis were gigantic. there were 4 sugar pumpkins ready and there were so many cucumbers, I have enough to make relish. And you can see the basket of tomatoes there.... I love this time of year when we start to really harvest the garden and we can eat all week from it.

Here is one of my favourite harvest meals - stuffed zucchini and greek salad - almost everything from our own garden - a feast! And tonight I am trying this recipe. Yum!

And there is even more than we can eat. Here is the first batch of pickles that I have ever made. Hope they are good!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

At Home

So, what I found when I arrived home....

I had left careful instructions for the care of the chicks - the 51 chicks in the basement divided between a playpen and a small swimming pool. This is what they looked like a week before I left. I would put them all in this box so I could clean out their 'pens'. I would close the lid and they would all fall asleep.

So along with constant feeding and regular cleaning of the 'pens' fresh bedding needed to be laid each night so they didn't sleep in their own poo... When I got home, I discovered that they had run out of bedding the day before Dean came to get me... And it was a shit hole down there...

I had plans to build a chicken tractor for them to keep them separate from my other chickens but allow them free range... But this situation called for immediate action. Luckily none of them had died and no disease seemed to be going through the little flock...yet... but in these conditions just such a scenario was all too likely. So I just grabbed them all and put them all outside with my other chickens - closed them all into the coop for the night with some food and water. I wasn't sure how it would go - I was afraid the big chickens would pick on them. Rhiannon and I spent quite a bit of time out there, supervising the next day. I think their sheer numbers - 51 chicks to 6 chickens (yes, I have lost 2 chickens - 1 to a coyote and one of old age) has made them intimidating to pick on. The first day, the chickens would chase them all back into the coop as soon as Rhi or I left and we would have to lure them back out with food. But by yesterday, they seemed to have worked out some kind of truce and the chicks were quickly cleaning themselves up and adapting to their new home with a flourish.

Sampson still drools on the other side of the chicken wire but the rooster stared him down yesterday to let him know that if he wanted a chick, he'd have to deal with him. So maybe their natural instincts are even beginning to kick in and chickens might not be quite as stupid as their reputation...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Denver

Hey, not a single word from my sisters about the family reunion? Not a single picture? I keep checking in hopes of reading about what it was like, what was fun and silly... But here is what we did instead. We went camping in New Denver for the Valhalla Suzuki Institute for Rhiannon's violin. We went the week end before it started and camped as a family.

Getting there was rather an adventure. We left Thursday after Dean got home from work. You know how it goes when you go camping.... We could have left at 4pm when he and Kaetlyn got home but we didn't leave until 7pm. And then we were starving and stopped to get something to eat in Lumby (15 minutes away from home) but we were happy and jolly to finally be on the road.

I love that road to New Denver - we wind away from our busy hectic lives into the green mountains. I feel the pressure coming off my shoulders - our stuff and all my favourite people and animals jam packed into our van - a little self-sufficient ark. The scenery is breathtaking and prospect of 10 days of camping before me is enough to make my heart sing.

It started getting dark and with our one dim headlight and all the deer and cattle (!) on the road, we crawled along between 60 - 80km's an hour (I know, very un-Clarke-like of me). It got later and later. At the Needles ferry, where we could see one of the forest fires burning high on the mountain, we had to wait for more than 45 minutes as the ferry was getting gassed up by a tanker truck. We finally pulled into the municipal campground in New Denver after 1am in the pitch black, to discover the campground was stuffed to overflowing. We eventually pitched our tents down by the water where there were picnic tables. It turned out that it was okay for us to do that for one night and the next day we got moved into another campsite - site 21. (Rhiannon's picture of our campsite...) It was a very nice site - close to the bathrooms and to water.

We just chilled on Friday, recovered from our mad dash. Saturday we went up to explore Sandon, an abandonned silver mine town up in the mountains above New Denver. Then Sunday, Dean and Drew left in the afternoon for home and Kaetlyn, Rhiannon and I stayed for the week.

As always, I wake up long before my family does. This afforded me time to go down to the beach and write in my journal and read Bozenka's lessons and ponder. This is the view I enjoyed in the early morning light - just me and Jodi. I thought a lot about what it is I love about camping and New Denver and about how to create more simplicity in my life. I wrote a lot about simplicity. Of course, I could make my life complicated no matter where I lived. Although it seems to me that in a place like New Denver, your life could be simpler just because there are less choices and you have be more organized. There is no pharmacy, stores close at certain times and for certain days and some things are just not available there. If I grocery shopped once a month instead of once a day, life would be simpler. Anyways, I pondered things like this in the quiet peaceful hours of the morning, waiting for my family to wake up.

There was a forest fire quite nearby. Highway 6 was closed after Silverton. The first day we were there it was quite smoky but then the winds changed and it was clear most of the rest of the time. You can see the smoke from the fire here. At night it was quite a sight to see.

Then Monday morning the violin camp started. Here Rhiannon is in some of her classes that week.

It was rather an intense week for her. She had 4 classes a day. Last year, two of those classes were without violins and involved games and rhythm and lots of fun. This year she had her usual group class and master class (one-on-one lesson) and then she had a class called 'play in' with a teacher
from Montreal originally from the former Yugoslavia. I wasn't sure about him at first. He was very stern and a little insulting and for the first two classes, I sat on the edge of my seat, wondering if I was going to have to grab Rhiannon and run out of the class. But he turned out to be an incredible teacher and I think Rhiannon learned more in that class than any other. But it was really intense.

Then after an intense morning of those 3 classes, in the afternoon we had a class ostensibly called 'exploring musical styles' but was really learning to play fiddle music. We went the first couple of times but it was just too much for Rhiannon to be trying to play a whole different kind of music. I thought it would have been better to listen to it, talk about it and play games with it but the teacher tried to get them to play it. So we stopped going to that class and instead spent the time practising. After the first day and Rhiannon realized she had no 'fun' classes, she cried. Even to the end, she declared she was never coming again because there were not 'fun' classes. However, since being home, she is talking about next year already. (although we won't be going next year - we'll be going up north to PG, Terrace and the Queen Charlottes but we'll be there the year after). Rhiannon learned a lot about violin and it was great to have the different perspectives and the group experience of playing. She has come home with renewed vigor in her practising and is already working on the next two songs and is eager to advance in the book.

But the week was not all about the institute. There were several other families from Vernon camping at the campground. We managed to save a campsite right beside us for our good friends and other violin friends camped across from us and there were other families scattered through the campground. The kids congregated at the play ground where several rousing games of 'grounders' were played. Here are all the kids on the last day.

And Jodi. I think camping is like dog heaven for her. She gets to go almost everywhere with us, she is walked constantly, petted often, fed great scraps and all the kids adore her. And everyone notices her and talks to her. She has turned out to be such a great camping dog, I wish we had tried taking her when she was much younger.

Then Saturday morning, our friends packed up and left and Dean arrived to take us home. The weather was sunny so we decided to stay one last night. Dean loves camping. And it was nice to just chill after that intense week. And then we were home on Sunday afternoon but and what I found here is a blog for another day....

For more pictures, check out my facebook account albums