Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Surprise Myself Everytime I Do It

I am sitting here all sweaty and hot. I just did my 30 minute run again. That's 4 times. And I have surprised myself everytime I do it. Everytime, I wonder if I will be able to do it again and during the first 5 minute stretch, I really doubt that I can. But I do. I did.

When I trained for Outward Bound, I did the 30 minute run once and that was it. I am sure I will never be 'addicted' to running. If the weather was better I would be riding instead. I am sure my sister, Katie, could run twice as far as I do in 30 minutes. But damn! I love the feeling of doing it yet again.

Where I really notice the difference in my life is in my walking - I can walk faster and longer and it feels different. I like how it feels to get stronger...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Report

Well, things have finally slowed down enough for me to think about it all. December has been exceptionally busy due to a large van repair bill. It has meant I have been out there canvassing for windows. At this time of year, I pretty much have to canvas the same amount of time that it takes him to wash the window jobs I get. Oh well, its good exercise. And while I have been out there, I have been distributing my counselling brochure and my dance class brochure at the same time. I am offering several new dance classes in the new year and my brochures seem to have been pretty successful because they are filling up with new students.

But that is not what I set out to write about. Christmas is always a bit different every year as the kids get older but this year it seemed a big jump. Both Kaetlyn and Eryn are living away from home with significant others. And because they are in town, there are other families to consider. We had a couple of family Christmas events starting in November with a stocking decorating party. Several people were ready for new stockings and we had 2 new family members to add.

Our next event was the cookie decorating party. This luckily happened the day after my parents arrived. They are going on a mission to Guyana and will be leaving in January sometime so this was our 'good bye' visit. Dad made me a salt feeder for the sheep and they played a lot of card games with the kids and took us to the movie "A Christmas Carol" for our Christmas present. It was a very nice visit. But back to the cookie thing. It was fun and a lot of cookies got decorated - even if Tyler didn't do his share. And here you have it - these are the only pictures I took of Christmas. I don't know. I just wasn't in a picture taking kind of mood.

Sometimes I get like that. Looking at these cookies again makes me want to go sneak some out of the place that I have hidden the last of them to bring out on New Year's Eve.

After my parents left on the18th, things were pretty busy. Dean and I were both working a lot. So much so that we decided that getting gifts for each other just seemed like anti-relaxing. So we decided to go out to a movie and have a nice evening together instead. I'm looking forward to it!

On the 23rd, Eryn had a family party at her place where she invited all of Tyler's family and all of us for a potluck. There was lots of good food, as always at Eryn's and it was nice to be formally introduced to Tyler's mom as we see her all the time (she works at our bank). You can tell she loves her boy, that's for sure.

Christmas Eve was rather quiet. Kaetlyn and Nadia stayed with Nadia's family. Eryn and Tyler came over for a couple of hours to eat supper and open one present. I made tortillas from scratch using the Rebar recipe and black bean refried beans also from scratch (the way that Karen taught me). Rhiannon helped me put them together with cheese and fry them up. They were soooo good! And I had managed to get the Nanaimo bars made so we had a full compliment of our traditional Christmas goodies - shortbread, sugar cookies, gingerbread, butter tarts, peanut brittle and the bars.

And then they were gone and it wasn't even 8pm and it was just the 4 of us. I do kind of enjoy it when it is just the 4 of us. Its different. For the first time since Eryn was born, it is balanced - 2 males and 2 females. (I like it when it is the 6 err... 8... of us, too) Andrew has started enjoying spending more time with Rhiannon. Over Christmas they played ALOT of mille bornes. It was nice to see. Andrew doesn't hide out quite so much in his room. We put Rhiannon into bed by 8 - she was so tired and crabby, I just couldn't bear the thought of her like that on Christmas... After doing all my Santa duties, I was actually in bed by 10pm. I don't think I've been able to get away with that on Christmas Eve since Eryn was a toddler and still spelled her name the way I did on her birth certificate (Erin).

Shortly after 8am on Christmas everyone arrived for the present opening. Eryn and Kaetlyn both got lots of household stuff which is what they asked for. I got spoiled by my daughters. Eryn drew my Santa gift and she got me a beautiful frame for 5 pictures and then took pics of everyone and put them in the frames. There is one empty place left for Dean and I. It could be empty for sometime because most pictures of Dean and I together are rather bad. And mostly its Dean's fault, if I do say so myself. Kaetlyn got me a beautiful pottery butter dish with a lid to keep out cat tongues and a green stone pendant (I'm not sure what the stone is but it is really, really pretty).

Dinner was divine. Everyone did a superb job on their assignments. I especially loved Eryn's roasted veggies. And then everyone left and it was quiet again. I got well into the novel I was saving for Christmas - "Priestess of Avalon", another in the Marion Zimmer Bradley series. I loved it. This fall I have just been too busy to read novels so I was really looking forward to it and it didn't disappoint.

And what did I make for Christmas? I made Kaetlyn potholders. I know, that sounds boring, so I thought I had better make them special. So I got some of Draga's and Freya's wool, washed it and carded it and used it as the stuffing. It started out about 6 inches thick. I used some black fabric that I once sewed Kaetlyn and Rebecca outfits from. First I freeform quilted it using my darning foot. But the bobbin thread kept on getting tangled. There was alot of swearing. And then there was the bias tape. May I just register how much I hate bias tape? I bought some black bias tape which in the end, I cut off of the pot holder. Then I made my own bias tape which worked better. But still. I don't know how people do such neat sewing jobs on bias tape. Mine looked terrible. Good thing it is black and harder to notice. It was Christmas Eve so I gave them to her anyways. She seemed to like them...hehe. Then for Andrew I am making a sweater. Yes, I said making. I am done the body up to the armpits and one sleeve up to the elbow. He is my big Christmas crafting project. I've never knitted anything bigger than a hat before. When I'm finished, I'll take a picture for you.

Then on the 28th, I went and picked up my parcel from Laura at the bus depot. I think my sister Christmas gift is always my favourite. Laura's parcel was full of sister goodness - 5 framed photos of family members which are now up on my wall - Sarah and Adriel, Evan-o-vich, Katie and her family, the Bean family and Amy. And there was soap from Lush that is making my whole upstairs smell good, and a DVD of Fiddler on the Roof, exercise pants and really beautiful earrings.

So, that is my Christmas report. It was a good Christmas, as Christmases go. I hope yours was good, too! I'm on my way to sneak a gingerbread cookie and watch some more waltons while I knit Drew's sweater...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

We Made Magic

It was our dance performance last night. My dancers arose to the challenge and put on the best performance yet. Fox, Unicorn, Elf and Witch spun a magical story.

The witch is my own little dancer - my inspiration. I made that hat yesterday and it turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself!

I am always amazed at their grace, their creativity and their sense of drama. These 4 dancers that I have right now are all born performers. They get excited, not nervous and when it comes time to perform in front of the audience, they really sparkle!

I was so proud of them!

Friday, December 04, 2009


And interesting thing happened the day after I said I was no longer going to do hats. Somebody bought a hat off of my hippiehats blog. Interesting. And then the next week I was invited to be in the Cedarbridge Winter Craft faire. So, I decided to do it. But it had a totally different energy. I wasn't running around knitting and crocheting furiously (errr, or should I say, sitting quietly watching movies and giving myself another case of knitter's elbow...). I just took the many hats I already have. I sold a few hats and it was a nice evening.

So I decided to reactivate my Etsy shop with my remaining hats. I don't have that desperate feeling about the whole thing. Its just nice to sell some of the many hats I have made over the years and Etsy is a nice way to do it. So if you are looking for a hat or you know someone who is, you can find my hats at See you there!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

30 Minutes

Well, almost 9 years ago when I broke both of my tibial plateaux 8 months after having a baby, I heard a nurse in the hallway talking about me say, "well, she'll never run again." I was barely mobile for the year after before I had the tibial plateau transplant and then refractured my one tibia/fibula 7 months into my 1 year of non-weightbearing, permanently (so far) altering my flexibility (my foot still can't touch my bum). I was afraid the nurse was right.

It was hard to think of. I had never been a long distance runner but I had once been rather fast. I was on my high school track team as a sprinter for the 100m and a high jumper. In fact, the day before my accident I had been giving Kaetlyn and Drew sprinting tips in the front yard. In 1999 I had done the Outward Bound Women of Courage program. To prepare for the 7 day course, I was supposed to be able to run for 30 minutes and they sent along a running program to gradually get there. I did it. And it was quite something for me. I don't really like running like that but I do like challenging myself and I like the feeling of have being able to do it. I didn't really want to accept never running again. I can still remember the feeling of running races barefoot in the grass in Fort George Park (in highschool, I ran in my socks) - that feeling of flying.

On my 43rd birthday, supported by a good friend, I went to Polson track and ran around the oval in short segments. It was hard to run. My body couldn't remember how to do it. I had to consciously think about each stride. It was hard to trust my right leg. And I could barely breathe - I was so badly out of shape.

This fall I decided that it was time to push myself. There is just nothing like jogging that gives my heart, lungs and legs the same work out. I have biked long distances, up big hills but it is still not the same. I tried at first a running program I found on But it just didn't work. I dug out my Outward Bound instructions, inspired by my sister, Laura, who is also doing something that challenges her. (you were my inspiration, Laura! Although what you did was probably harder!)

I really wasn't sure I could do it. But I started. The first day I ran 30 seconds and walked 4.5 minutes X 6. Two days later I ran for 1 minute and walked for 4 X 6. Something happened on this run. It clicked. My body remembered how to jog. I stopped thinking about my stride and fell into a rhythm. Nevertheless, I wasn't sure how far I would get. Maybe it would snow and I wouldn't be able to. Maybe I really couldn't do this any more.

On Monday I ran for 4.5 minutes and walked for 30 seconds X 6. I ran for 27 minutes. The next time I was supposed to run for 30 minutes without stopping. That was today. It was below 0 today but warmer than forecasted. I decided to go after lunch about 3pm. I decided it would be okay if I could only run 15 minutes and then stop and walk for a minute and run for another 15 minutes. But I didn't need to. I ran. I ran for 30 minutes without stopping. I can hardly believe it. I DID IT!!

And my knee? It is okay. It doesn't even hurt. I know that my ankle does compensate a bit for it and I suspect it might be because I have my own meniscus. Near the end of my run, I run by my physiotherapist and I want to shout, "Kees! Look at me! I'm doing it!" It spurs me on to finish.

Anyways, yay me!