“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

― Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Number Eight - Join to Lose

Okay, I have always been very health conscious. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences. Health matters to me and healthy lifestyle choices matter to me. When I was a teenager and dancing ballet and jazz I was very conscious of nurition. This continued all through University. I still care about it today and yet somehow I find myself in the place of seriously needing to lose some weight. What galls me is that I can't even blame it on having three children! I gained what I have today in the four years between graduation and weighing in at my first pre-natal appointment. I have lost ten pounds here and there over the years since, but I always wind up right back at the same weight I was when I stepped on that scale at the pre-natal appointment in November 1999. It is almost as if my body has preset this number as the new norm. Some may say that's okay, but it's not when it is 25 pounds over my previous, pre-marriage normal!

Anyway, I have been back to work full time for three years now. I work in a field that mostly employs women - the programs I work in being 99.9 % women. So of course we talk about dieting. A lot, actually. There was this one diet, The Fat Flush, that was adopted by many people in the office. And it was hard not to jump on board - the results were astonishing! But I have never adopted a diet plan. I have looked at many of them. Read lots of books. And then I pick and chose the parts that make sense and seem like they are maintainable, basically making up my own way of eating. And I see success like I said before - I'll loose 10-15 pounds. But then I stop exercising or have some injury or some reason why I can't exercise. And then refraining from the sweets has always been my nemesis!! I love chocolate and I love ice cream, so the pounds creep back on.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a co-worker and our office is starting a KACL version of "The Biggest Loser". I have never joined a weight loss program. Certainly not one with a weekly weigh in!! But that is what this is. Here are the "rules" sent in the email from my co-worker.

"Hi Everyone and welcome to the first day of the biggest loser!

Today will be the first day of the weigh in. Sue will be supervising all the weigh ins, so feel free to drop by when you get a chance to step on the scale. I have also made some packages for everyone with some helpful starter tools. So here are the rules:

  • 1) $15.00 Start up fee (Can be paid to myself or Sue. $5.00 will go to the purchasing of prizes, $9.00 will go to the pot to win at the end of the month, and $1.00 will go to the endowment fund)
  • 2) Weigh in every Thursday
  • 3) The person with the biggest percentage of weight loss each week will receive a prize
  • 4) Should you gain weight it will cost you $2.00 (This money will go to weekly prizes)
  • 5) Eat right
  • 6) Drink lots of water
  • 7) Exercise
  • 8) HAVE FUN!!
  • 9) At the end of the month, the person with the greatest percentage of weight loss for the whole month will win 90% of the money from the sign up.

The other 10% will be donated to the endowment fund

Thanks for joining everyone!"

So far there are no photos to go with this post. There may never be. I feel exposed enough with the before and after shots of my hair. But wish me luck!! Hopefully this time the loss sticks!!.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Number Seven - A Shade of ???

On Saturday I went in for my annual (yes annual) hair highlighting appointment. I was born with very blonde hair and like most blondes it has gotten a shade darker every decade until I was about 25. My hairdressers have said that my natural colour is technically around a 7 ash blonde. For years now I have been getting my hair highlighted 2 shades lighter and a different tone. Like golden blonde or platinum blonde. So this time I thought I'd get something new. A new look.

Here are the BEFORE pictures.... and the DURING .... (from the bathroom- HA!) and the AFTER .....

I actually LOVE IT!!! And I can't believe that I have waited so long to change my hair colour!! No more blonde!! I wonder if this will mean no more blonde jokes? (ha!) I have gotten so many compliments -- i guess that can be expected looking at the before photos. :( Many people saying that it matches my skin tone, eye colour and eye brows. And many have said that the cut changes my whole appearance. All I can say is that I love it AND I am so glad that Karen is back at Keric Funk!! Thanks Karen!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Number Six - Acrylic on Canvas

Last June my life took on a new adventure when I was reassigned at work to be a part of the community arts programs at KACL. These programs now include Art Partners, Rise to the Rhythm, In the Key of Community and coming soon Community Gardening. I attended an Art Partner session as a participant a couple of years ago - so I have explored doing art a bit. But actually outside of crafting with the kids - I haven't really tried my hand at art since I was in the eighth grade.

Going to work every day being immersed in an atmosphere of art has built in me a desire to try my hand at painting. I have dabbled a bit with acrylic paint on group painting - mostly abstract stuff. A while ago I bought some paint and canvases for the kids. They all love art. So when I went to buy the last set of canvases I bought one for myself. After watching the Art Partner consultants prep canvases, paint, etc. I had an idea. So for the first time in my life I was going to attempt to paint a landscape acrylic on canvas.

As I picked up the canvas I thought of the guy on PBS that I used to watch in amazement. He made it look so easy. ... i wondered how i would do. I decided I would let go! Adopting the Art Partner philosophy I let go of judgement and let go of expectation and just went for it. It was freeing, relaxing.... it was one of those activities that I constantly seek. The ones that require you to be present, that require your whole thought, your whole mind ... that you loose yourself in. Like a meditation. It was so much fun!!

So even though the result to me is irrelevant, here it is.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Number Five - the world of blogging

Number Five is starting this blog. Being someone who loves story telling - I've always thought blogging was another method to tell a story. So while I've thought of starting many times before, it was just another in the long list of things that I'll get around to ... later sometime.

As always I have to research things a bit first. I love google. It makes everyone smarter. So I googled which blogging site was the best and found a really comprehensive list the 10 best - with a really comprehensive list of criteria. I went to a couple of the sites I was interested in and looked at their features and people who blog on their site. And then I posted the question on Facebook and got some advice there. Wordpress, Blogger and Live journal all seemed pretty comparable. So in the end I just picked one.

Then there was the name.... what should I call this blog? You should know that the naming of my three children was a studious and thoughtful process that took me more than the entire pregnancy. Names for my children was something I had been reflecting on since childhood and an ongoing lifetime list usually had the last page in the journal I was keeping. And after they were born I would spend some time alone with babe discussing with them the name they would be known as for their life. It's pretty huge.

Naming a blog is not nearly so weighty, so after a day and a half it was settled. And I guess here is were I have to give some creative credit to a friend who I brainstormed with. I always think that any idea has more depth, beauty and soundness when it is created not just by one person, but through a process of sharing ideas. So thanks Kurt.

And so Aurora Wanderings was named. Aurora for the night time wonder that I have been lucky enough to see many times in my life. The best night ever was a night with purples, blues, pinks and greens that were dancing directly above us as we lay on our backs and floated in the lake and watched them for a very long time. Another night that really stands out they were that greenish white colour dancing from the northern horizon and arching two-thirds of the way over the entire sky. I look for them always - hoping again to see then in their splendour as I have seen them before. And Wanderings ... well kind of speaks the journey.

So let the blogging begin. :-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Number Four - Qunizee Camping

For the past five years we have made a quinzee - a type of snow hut similar in shape to an igloo, but constructed differently and not as long lasting. This year for the first time, we hauled out the sleeping bags and blankets to make a go of winter "camping". (I think it qualifies even while we were only in our backyard.)

The kids were enthusiastic!! There were 4 who began the night nestled all snug in our winter snow cave. It was a cold, clear night with a bit of a breeze. We got dressed in our winter gear,with many layers underneath that. Got all our sleeping bags and ended up using almost every blanket in the house. Why bother you ask? Simply... we are Canadian. And while the kids have enjoyed playing and having picnics inside their quinzee every year they have been dying to sleep in it! So this was the our first year to try it.

I hate to admit that I was the first to go inside!! I only lasted four and half hours! But in my defense. With every moan or stir of the blankets, I was up! I was up to put Cole's mitts on again. I was up to re-tuck Ellie. I was up to re-secure the door coverings. I was up to go back inside for more clothes and blankets. Up again to redress Ellie as I tried to convince her to sleep inside, that she had done enough outside. She insisted on going out again. And up again to pull Erik's hood over his head. So I can't even really say that I slept much in those 4 1/2 hours. But Jerry joined us a couple hours in, so when I went in he was willing to stay out with the kids. Ellie came in shortly after me. Cole followed less than an hour after her. But when Erik came inside in the morning he announced that it was "the best sleep of his life!" Jerry didn't share his sentiment. :-)

the link below is a site I found with information about quinzee building.