Tag Archives: life

~in memory of grandma~

this morning felt very strange because i did not make my weekly 9 a.m. phone call to grandma. see, a good 8-10 years ago now, i made it my new year’s resolution to phone g’ma every week. in recent years, our chatting time had evolved to sunday a.m. – a convenient time for us both. our phone visits were not lengthy, and esp in the last few months, our topics of q & a were repetitive, but it was nice to touch base with grandma on a regular basis. our pattern was so established that some weeks, grandma would pick up the phone and immediately say, “hello cathy!” -> whenever she answered in this way, it made me laugh which in turn made HER laugh and got our visit off to a cheery start.

on wednesday of this past week, g’ma completed her daily walk to and from the uptown mall with her best friend. thursday morning, g’ma was taken to the hospital, and it was discovered that the situation was terminal. the care team gave grandma no more than a day or two to live. i cannot BELIEVE how things work out (as i have often said before) – on thursday, i was scheduled to work only until 3 pm. i am RARELY done my work day this early! as such, i was able to go to the hospital late thursday aft, spend time with grandma, and say my good-bye. grandma passed away late yesterday afternoon. [i have to smile because grandma could be quite stubborn at times (dad and i share this trait, too) and the fact that she lived more than 24 hours than expected was her way of being stubborn right to the very end].

i am so so happy that dad and i took grandma to her favourite swiss chalet back in august and enjoyed our lunch outing with her, there.

file photo, august 15, 2012; at swiss chalet

and remember the lovely family luncheon we shared in may to celebrate g’ma’s 90th? the smile never left grandma’s face that day.

file photo, may 13th, 2012; great-grandma!

one other blog post featuring g’ma comes to mind: this one where i showed you some of grandma’s needlework creations in her apartment, around the time of her 89th birthday.

file photo, may 4th, 2011; g’ma was a good sport about being photographed!

grandma was knitting right until the very end. this is a snippet of the last blanket that she made, finished just last week:

the fine and even tension of the knitting and intricacy of the crocheted border amaze me!

here are a couple of grandma-anecdotes:

~ brown was grandma’s favourite colour. when we were children, i remember the brother and i being practically aghast – and fascinated! – that anyone would pick BROWN for their favourite colour!

~ g’ma sewed entire wardrobes for me when i was a little girl:

two examples of grandma-creations: my 1st day of grade one, grade one class picture

here’s another example of grandma’s sewing talent: as a teen, i gave her a drawing of an outfit i wanted, and she replicated it even better than i had anticipated! (and you know it is hard to please a picky teen!). i wore that skirt + blouse combo for years.

~ grandma never judged and was pretty unflappable, no matter what news i shared with her.

~ grandma loved florida! i definitely inherited my love of florida + heat + sunshine from her!

~ grandma balanced a diet heavy on fried foods with a ton of walking!

~ a strong faith, a commitment to family, and not shying away from hard work saw grandma through some years of great hardship; i am glad she also experienced years of travel, relaxation, and enjoyment of life.

file photo, april 1975

we are planning on having a service of remembrance and celebration of life on thursday. it will be a day to mourn, but also to be thankful for all the years that grandma was with us.

~grandma, we will miss you~.

six for sunday

1. friday evening was just the best. i was feeling pretty beat after a go-go-go day at theOTHERstore (for whatever reason, i processed about three times the amount of transactions that i normally do during a day shift…which is good! we like high $sales$!) and a night in sounded lovely. mom and dad were away visiting friends and so i crashed at their place (they were aware of this) to watch crap tv (you’ll remember i don’t have a tv). i didn’t even knit – i lay down on the loveseat, head on one arm rest, legs hanging over the other end, and flicked away through the channels, eventually settling on “i found my gown” and then an episode of “friends.” i felt exactly like i was fifteen years old again! sometimes you need to spend time being mindless.

2. three of these statements about friday are true and one is false: stephen hawking was in my ‘hood; the brother was interviewed for npr; i bought my SIXTH pair of nike free’s; it was the last full day of summer 2012.

3. bloggers kath and janae are two classy gals, each in their own way: the packages i mailed arrived super quick via canada post (amazing) and last sunday i received the nicest emails from each new mom – janae emailed the most exuberant note of thanks, and we had a cheery email exchange back and forth; kath sent an e-card with the most sincere, warm and friendly thank you message inside. happy vibes all around! (and the smarties, pc chocolate and apple butter have all made blog appearances this week!).

4. yesterday, the weather forecast called for rain. i set out for my early-a.m. run wearing a ball cap and two layers of long-sleeve shirts (and just about boiled, thank goodness i had shorts on to balance things off), anticipating that a downpour could strike at any moment. well, i enjoyed rain-free conditions the entire time i was out, and in fact, witnessed the most amazing cloud + sun configurations -> it looked just like i could see right up into heaven.

5. knitting seed stitch with cream-coloured yarn is about as boring as knitting can get. i am falling asleep at my needles…but a blanket needs a border. i predict a very small border for this current project…i can’t take much more!!!

6. unless something extraordinary happens, i shall see you again on thanksgiving weekend with a list of 42 things for which i am thankful.

happy sunday!

(i am seeing bff debbie later and we are either going to stalk an interior designer who has appeared on hgtv and lives in our nearby westmount neighbourhood OR go to costco. either option is fine by me!).

(i did not buy a new pair of shoes!).

waiting for the (third) shoe to drop

hey, what do you think the timeframe is for the whole “things happen in threes” concept? i am hoping you are going to say “three days” because then i can breathe a sigh of relief and relax.

since this past weekend, i have been walking around gingerly, warily casting an eye back and forth, on the lookout for a potential bad news situation. here’s why…

saturday, 6 p.m.: i went up to food basics to get my weekly supply of (cheap) grocery necessities. note to self: in future, avoid food basics as 6 p.m. on a saturday, the place is a complete zoo. anyway, as is my tendency (right, mom?!) i grabbed a hand basket, and not a cart, somehow believing that i could fit eighteen items in a space the size of two shoe boxes. so, basket overflowing, and juggling four carbonated waters in my arms, i made my way to the checkouts. as best as i could tell, the shortest line had six carts in it. i took my place, my elbow already aching from the cumbersome and h-e-a-v-y grocery load. as i tried to rearrange the carb water in my arms, one slipped away from me and crashed to the floor. you got it: boom! bottle explosion! suddenly, a nice river of water was flowing back from the magazine and candy bar displays.

now, luckily, the fizzy water was the cheap no-name variety, so it was in a plastic bottle, not glass. but i was so embarrassed! all i can say is thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. another customer FYI’d the checkout girl, and she called for “cleanup at checkout three,” and two very pleasant and easygoing young stock boys arrived with paper towels to handle the puddle. [sidenote: full credit goes to the staff at the food basics at fischer-hallman and university (and fairway rd, also) -> the checkout girls are unfailingly friendly and efficient, no matter when you are there. what excellent customer service for a “no frills” establishment!].

so that was mishap #1.

sunday, 9:00 p.m.: i finished up my relaxing evening shower, and wrapped my freshly-washed hair in a (fluffy, hotel-white, brian gluckstein) towel. the end of the towel slipped haphazardly over my eyes, so i was momentarily blinded as i opened the shower stall door. kind of in la-la land already, i was jarred from my zen-ish state when i slammed my right knee cap into the edge of the shower stall. yeeeooowww!!! i gasped right out loud and was sosoclose to breaking into tears. man alive, did that ever HURT! in that type of situation, it’s hard to tell if it’s the physical pain or the surprise factor that is worse. thankfully, the only harm done was a righteous bruising of the kneecap – bad enough, though, that i felt it all day monday.

two days, two unfortunate incidents…my fingers are crossed that my bad luck is behind me as we are now at thursday, and the last three days have been uneventful! (you can bet i was very careful driving to and fro TO yesterday…and since my latest knitting project involves cream-coloured yarn, coffee drinking + knitting has been approached with extreme caution!).


i really enjoyed your comments yesterday about fall: yea or nay – thanks for sharing! since you all are such fans…”if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” is my autumn motto, and i will focus on all the good points you listed about this almost-upon-us season!

theme week: you’ve won an award!

back in july, during my blogcation, the lovely stacie so kindly and graciously bestowed upon me a blogging award:

now, you may think that receiving an award of this nature is a great honour. well, in actuality, it’s a bucketload of work [please note that i am confident stacie will not be offended by the smirk-y and cynical tone of my comments]. blog awards are an excellent marketing tool for self-promotion and for increasing the number of hits your friends’ blogs will receive.

see, you can’t simply write a touching acceptance speech of “thanks for thinking highly of my blog” and move along. nooooo! there are rules that accompany a blog award!!

for the liebster award…

…here is what you must do:

Tell 11 random things about yourself.

Answer the questions that the person who tagged you asks.

Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.

Tag 11 blogs and link them to your post.

Contact them and let them know they’ve been tagged.

see what i mean about the workload?! whoa!

moving on…

first, i am not going to re-tag 11 blogs because 1) stacie stole all my blends when she wrote her blog post-of-acceptance; 2) i do not feel comfortable inflicting passing along this honour to my real-life-friends-who-also-blog, i want to keep them as real-life friends; 3) can you just imagine if i fyi’d blogs that i only lurk on, informing them that they have been nominated for this award? the kikiproject blog would be regarded as weird! so, i am hoping a hex is not placed on me by the worldwide blogging gods for breaking the liebster cycle.

ok…11 random things about me.

1. i have never been to europe.

2. as a teenager, my family nicknamed me biffy. on wednesday when mom and i were shopping, she absentmindedly called me “biff,” i am not sure whether she even realized it or not.

3. i can turn my tongue sideways (ie vertically) in my mouth, but only in one direction.

4. my shoe size is seven.

5. i took two years of german in high school. all i remember is this dialogue [spelling questionable]:

~ bleibst du heute nacht mittag zu hausen?

~ ja, naturlich.

~ was machst du den?

~ hausaufgaben, was sonst?

6. if i had a dog, i would call it waffles.

7. i am currently wearing black nail polish.

8. i prefer showers to baths.

9. the day that my mom took me over to dorothy’s face and fashions at stanley park mall to get my ears pierced when i was twelve years old was one of pure joy and happiness.

10. i’ve read “cheaper by the dozen” at least a twelve times, although not for many years.

11. i like the rock group “nickelback” even though they get ridiculed massively.

next step: i shall answer the 11 questions that stacie posed:

1. what is your biggest pet peeve? people who are negative and pessimistic.

2. what is your biggest blogger pet peeve? spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

3. coke or pepsi? [STACIE!!!! argggh!!!] at this point in time, it really matters not, a sip of either would be heaven on earth.

4. what is the number one item on your bucket list? well, from my top five, i’ll pick seeing madonna in concert, live.

5. do you like surprise parties? to throw them, yes, very much; to be the recipient, not at all.

6. what is the oddest thing in your handbag or wallet right now? in my knapsack (my version of a handbag), i have a silver hoop earring for which i lost the backing.

7. when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? my first memory is hairdresser, after that, librarian.

8. what are you afraid of that actually shouldn’t scare you? thunder!

9. are you on instagram yet? if not, why the heck not? no! 1) lack of comprehension 2) have note made the time for it 3) lack of interest!

10. what’s your favourite animal? a plush, cuddly, stuffed one!

11. what’s your favourite hobby? (blogging doesn’t count) knitting!

since i am now feeling very tired, i am turning to a question format that is very popular in blogland: it’s the would you rather game. here are the first 11 questions to arrive in my brain:

1. would you rather fly in an airplane or drive in a car?

2. would you rather eat pizza hot or cold?

3. would you rather vacation in the mountains or by the ocean?

4. would you rather sleep in or get up early?

5. would you rather use a dishwasher or handwash your dishes?

6. would you rather be a sprinter or a marathoner?

7. would you rather swim in a lake or in a pool?

8. would you rather get a gift card/money or a wrapped present for your birthday?

9. would you rather pay by cash or credit card?

10. would you rather talk on the phone or email?

11. would you rather take two weeks of vacation all at once, or have a four day work-week for ten weeks?

if you’d like to receive this award…

…consider yourself awarded! congratulations!

if you’d like to answer any of my 11 “would you rather” questions – please do! it’d be so sad if i did all that creative thinking (and manual typing) for nothing!

happy saturday!


it’s ♥ valentine’s day ♥ … tomorrow!

in honour of happy heart day , here are fourteen of my latest ♥ loves ♥:

1. this *winter*: yes, this weekend was snowy, blowy and cold, but truly, it has been a dreamboat of a winter. and seeing as it’s already the middle of february, we’ve got what, maybe a month of winter to go? sweet!

2. the new runner’s world shoe finder: in the march issue of runner’s world magazine, the editors debut their updated shoe finder:

i heart the flow chart style!

runner’s world has moved on from classifying shoes as neutral/stability/motion control in favour of a more interactive schemata which poses yes/no questions in order to help you to determine the best makes and models of shoes for you. this update fascinates me because at the store, we use the three-shoe-type classification system. so, i have to wonder if down the road, we, too, will move in a new direction??

3. top chef texas: top chef is my ♥ favourite ♥ foodnetwork series, and we’re down to seven remaining contestants in this 9th edition! once again, it’s a good one! my favourite judges, padma and tom, are back, the contestants are the usual mix of diverse personalities, and the challenges have been innovative. i’ve got my fingers crossed that edward ends up as top chef! [i’ve got a good track record for picking reality show winners…will my streak continue??!].

4. seeing my cousin joel pursue a travel opportunity: on friday eve, i met up with my cousin joel for coffee.

@ cafe 1842; outing #6 of this year's kiki project!

joel is leaving tomorrow for korea! he’ll be teaching english there until he comes home for kate’s wedding in june. all the best, joel, and i can’t wait to read your blog updates!

5. madonna!


five point one: madonna’s new song (listen here!) – yes, i agree it is a bubble-gummy type tune, and as someone said, well suited to an old navy tv ad, but i can’t help but bop when i hear it – it makes me so happy!

five point two: madonna tickets go on sale TODAY at 10 a.m. for her two toronto shows, sept 12th and 13th. sadly, i will not be attempting to purchase tix to her 2012 tour. maybe the next one!

6. this valentine from little e:

the inside of little e's valentine's card for aunti

someone knows the way to aunti’s !

7. food basics: ok, call me slow but i only just have discovered the wonders of food basics

au revoir, valumart and hellooooo, food basics!

i cannot believe their produce prices!!

check out this comparison: on an average week, broccoli is $2.99 at valu. this is what i paid at food basics:

can you believe that?!

and mushrooms are $2.49 at valu, while at food basics…

i did a double take!

now, i am not one to drive all over the universe to save a few cents. but this is insanity! luckily, there is a food basics right across the street from theOTHERstore, and a mere two blocks north of the brother and sil ana’s house in toronto. you can betcha i am going to strategically plan out my grocery needs and my timing so that i can hit up food basics for…basics (fresh produce is indeed a basic!).

8. reid coolsaet’s classy act of philanthropy: i ♥ reid because i met him

file photo, march 2011!

…and he was so laidback and not arrogant, and he is going to represent canada at the olympics this summer, and he is a super speedy fast marathoner. if all of those virtues were not enough, the sweet guy is donating $10 000 of his marathon earnings to help renovate/redo the university of guelph’s track facility. read the toronto star article here!

9. a serendipitous free coffee:

i was lucky enough to receive a s’bux gift card last week, so you can bet i was into starbucks the very next day. i picked up a 12 pac of starbuck’s newest via blend, a blonde roast called “veranda.” when i got to the checkout, the barista told me that i could have a free coffee, thanks to a special promotion they were running that day!

both she and the woman behind me in line encouraged me to get an expensive, fancy drink, since it would be free! but since i am not up on my venti-mochi-soaki-lattés, i opted for a plain ol’ decaf:

i had about seventeen other errands to complete in 57 minutes that day, but there is always time for free coffee…and the paper!

10. sleep: i fully confess that it has been a while since i have consistently seen the hour of 5 a.m. on my watch when i get up in the morning. lately, i’ve been taking advantage of sleeping in on days when i can afford to have a more relaxed start to my day, and it has been h.e.a.v.e.n.l.y. i hope i start de-hibernating once spring rolls around. but the bed is just so darn warm and comfy!

11. this motivational quote that our half marathon instructor, derek, shared with his clinic members in his weekly email:

you have a choice. you can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.

12. diet coke: oops, did i just say type that? my fingers must have slipped.

13. wearing perfume: i have not worn perfume in years! when i was up at conestoga mall in january, trying to take care of my sil-vah situation, i popped into “icing by claire” and thoughtlessly spritzed myself with a perfume that was set out by the til. i could not stop sniffing myself the rest of the day! loved it! and had no clue as the name of it. well, if dear old mom did not pursue the perfume for me when she was at the mall last week. i am now the proud owner – and daily wearer – of…

"addicted," by icing -> how completely appropriately named!

and i still can’t stop smelling myself!

14. deciding to go with my ♥ heart and switch up my blogging *schedule,* yet again: in an effort to not be too angsty, i will keep this explanation concise. ever since i switched to a three-times-a-week posting schedule, i am not feeling the ♥ blogging love ♥. i have lost my mojo, my creativity has nose-dived, and blogging often feels like one more item on my “to do” list. i do not like to write when blogging is a chore. so, i am going to go back (as i did with the first kikiproject) to blogging whenever the heck i feel like it.

what does this decision mean for this year’s 12 days of kiki? i’m sticking with it! so, a recap on the 9th of each month will be coming at you, for sure. otherwise, i will be writing when i am fully inspired about a topic and/or really feel the urge to express myself.

i have added an amendment to the 12 days of kiki, item #3; instead of stating that i will blog three times per week on a mon-wed-fri schedule, it now states that i will:

leave a comment on a minimum of three blogs, every day. [i do this already so i know it is enjoyable and manageable]. this way, i still get to interact and socialize with blog-friends, but they have to do all the creative work – haha! maybe i’ll even expand my usual list of reads…

whew! i feel so relieved!

and with that…

happy valentines day to YOU!

today’s a-ha:


a defining life moment

i was talking to my mom on monday morning when she happened to mention that it was ten years to the day that my grandpa c died.

summer, 2001 - one of the last photos i have of me and g'pa

i was really lucky when i was little because grandma and grandpa c lived only a five minute drive from our house.

summer, 1970 - i love this photo!

i can’t even begin to relate all the good times we had at their place: sleepovers, family dinners and celebrations, pop-overs (ie quick little visits)…we were really close in more than just geographic distance.

g'ma and g'pa in an undated photo - early 70s, i am guessing

i remember spending more time with my grandma c than grandpa. grandpa had many interests: gardening, reading, church committees, and he would be occupied during the day with these routines (and don’t forget his daily afternoon nap!) while i enjoyed baking, playing, chatting with grandma.

family celebration for grandma and grandpa's 40th wedding anniversary

in the evenings, grandpa always watched the news, did a crossword puzzle, and during the season, was a loyal maple leafs fan (definitely influenced my choice of favourite nhl team!).

summer, 1980

unfortunately, grandma c passed away quite suddenly 24 years ago, next month (i was seventeen). after her death, though, i got to know grandpa c better, and in a new way. grandpa came over to our house pretty regularly for dinner and even hosted us, from time to time. i really admire that grandpa was a lifelong learner – he taught himself to cook after grandma died, and while some of his concoctions caused us to raise an eyebrow, he really managed to make a comfortable home for himself (ex: he went all out with christmas decorating!). what really impressed me was when he decided to buy himself a computer, and even took a course to learn how to use it! grandpa stayed current with the times!

christmas, 2000 - mom, dad, g'pa -> notice g'pa's festive sweatshirt - red for christmas!

the day grandpa died (at age 89, i was 31) remains sharp in my mind, despite the passage of ten years. we got the call early in the morning from his retirement home that we should come over. mom, dad, my uncle and aunt and i were all in the room with grandpa when he passed away. being present when grandpa died was a landmark moment in my adult life. it was a very emotional occasion – i remember sobbing uncontrollably – but it was also a unifying time – i don’t remember ever feeling closer to my parents, uncle and aunt. it really is remarkable and inexplicable to witness someone’s passage from this world.

please don’t interpret this post as a sad one! death is a part of the circle of life, and grandpa enjoyed a long and full life. i am so happy to have many, many fun and positive memories of times spent with my grandparents, and later, just with grandpa.i feel very blessed that they were such a part of my growing-up years.

florida, 1979 (i was nine)

[sidenote: grandpa loved going for a country drive, or driving around to do errands. and he never, ever took the same route from point a to point b, back to point a. i do the same thing now! walking or driving, i vary my route on the return trip].

i still think of grandpa c very often – daily?? and i always smile when i see something or get an idea that i know he would approve of. i bet you if he were alive today, he’d be on facebook!

did you live close to your grandparents, growing up? i was really lucky because i also had my other grandparents AND my great-grandma in my life, as a child!

what did you call your grandparents? all of ours were just “grandma” and “grandpa.” no nana’s or poppie’s!


november thankfulness:

(for wednesday november 16): yesterday i was thankful that vfbf joanne and i managed to fit in a 30 minute visit this week in order to maintain our streak of monthly get-togethers. we really had to work with our schedules and go back to the drawing board a couple of times to make this meet-up happen – but we did it!

outside of vincenzo's - such a gorgeous day, we were able to visit at an outside table!

i have never eaten shark

…and we continue from yesterday!

i kept the true or false quiz super easy. the first ten statements are TRUE, the remaining ten sentences are FALSE. details forthwith:

1. i am 5 feet 5.5 inches tall. and i have been this very height since age 11-12. my parents were sure i was going to be over six feet tall when i was young!

2. i have only three first cousins. kate, joel, and alex. ♥ although, kate is marrying pete in june – does that mean i can then count him as one more?

3. in 1998, i ran a 4:01:59 50k ultra event that was good enough to be the canadian women’s record that year. that race and my 3:00:45 boston marathon remain the running accomplishments with which i am most delighted.

4. the only ice cream flavour i 100% like is chocolate chip. holding steady on that flavour since about age five. i’m always at least slightly disappointed with anything else.

5. my all-time favourite movie is “when harry met sally.” the. best. ever. i still LOL any time i watch this comedic classic.

6. i have never eaten a big mac or a pop tart. when we went to mcdo as kids, i never deviated from the filet o’ fish. i’ve had a burger a handful of times. just never ventured into big mac land! pop tarts -> were never in the house when we were little, and i just have never thought to try one!

7. i am scared of dogs. terrified. and cats. and gerbils. and cows…but not spiders.

8. i only enjoy watching golf on tv if tiger woods is playing and he is in the lead. tiger’s had his personal…*challenges,* but he is my favourite golfer. the passion! the intensity! just keep these to the golf course, only, ok, tig?

9. the condo casa is already decorated for christmas. yup.

10. i never take shortcuts when out walking. oh, the horror of such a thought! cuz my motto is…”take shortcuts on a walk, you’ll take shortcuts in life.”

11. my favourite part of a traditional turkey dinner is the cranberry sauce. ew! i ADORE our family’s traditional recipe for stuffing. i could leave every other dish alone and just eat stuffing for christmas. maybe i shall, this year.

12. i have my ears quadruple pierced and i have three tattoos. off by one! each ear is triple pierced and i have two tattoos. would love to get a ring through the upper part of my ear but am scared of the pain (gina, tell me it’s not that bad). i want to get tat #3 in 2012. 

13. i studied spanish for two years in high school. i took two years of german (in addition to five years of french). much to my german grandmother’s disappointment, german did not “stick” in my brain, and to this day, i only remember one four-line dialogue. 

14. i have been to every province in canada. i am missing newfoundland! i live in ontario, the family vacationed in b.c., alberta, quebec, n.b., n.s., p.e.i., i took a high school bus trip through man. and sask…no desire to visit the rock, so who knows if i’ll ever get there!

15. i currently subscribe to seven magazines. zero! i love magazines, but made no time to read ’em, so gradually let every subscription expire. i can read runner’s world at the store, and 1,001 other titles at chapters, should i so desire!

16. as a teen, my family’s nickname for me was buffy. the brother dubbed me biffy thanks to a slightly air-headed era…

17. i have eaten shark. no, but i have eaten frogs’ legs! (grade 8 school trip to quebec city). and yes, they tasted like chicken.

18. i learned to knit when i was ten years old. ’twas age five! grandma c taught me.

19. my middle name is laura. it’s actually lara, as in dr zhivago. never been a fan of my middle name (sorry, mom and dad!).

20. my first part time job was in a bagel shop. in high school, i got a p/t gig at reitman’s as my first job. i DID work at blue dog bagels the summer between ending my teaching career and beginning at a local insurance firm. bagel shop -> retail-ish, so you know i loved it!

feel free to tangent off and share personal info about any of the topics touched on above! [tangent – can you believe november is half over??].


november thankfulness:

(for tuesday november 15): yesterday i was thankful that i am not the only christmas-crazyhead in the neighbourhood! bear witness:

wreath in window + xmas lights on shrubs!

ok, maybe it's a little early for a SNOWMAN??! (i HOPE it's a little early??...)

true or false tuesday

i saw this idea over on aneta‘s blog, and thought it was super-fun! plus, i miss giving tests since my teaching days are long ago and far away. Below, you will find twenty statements. decide whether each one is true or false. answers tomorrow!

1. i am 5 feet 5.5 inches tall.

2. i have only three first cousins.

3. in 1998, i ran a 4:01:59 50k ultra event that was good enough to be the canadian women’s record that year.

4. the only ice cream flavour i 100% like is chocolate chip.

5. my all-time favourite movie is “when harry met sally.”

6. i have never eaten a big mac or a pop tart.

7. i am scared of dogs.

8. i only enjoy watching golf on tv if tiger woods is playing and he is in the lead.

9. the condo casa is already decorated for christmas.

10. i never take shortcuts when out walking.

11. my favourite part of a traditional turkey dinner is the cranberry sauce.

12. i have my ears quadruple pierced and i have three tattoos.

13. i studied spanish for two years in high schoool.

14. i have been to every province in canada.

15. i currently subscribe to seven magazines.

16. as a teen, my family’s nickname for me was buffy.

17. i have eaten shark.

18. i learned to knit when i was ten years old.

19. my middle name is laura.

20. my first part time job was in a bagel shop.

tell me one sentence about you and i will guess whether it is true or false. in school, i quite enjoyed true/false test questions, but i liked multiple choice even more!


november thankfulness:

(for monday november 14): yesterday i was thankful for heated seats in the rav. whoever dreamt up that invention was a pure genius. i keep my seat heater permanently in the “on” position from approx. august to june. and, yes, that statement is true!

not all 50 q’s

one of the reasons i like to read gina, (the fitnessista)’s blog, is that she often will include *a-ha life quotes*, as i like to call them. you know – motivational thoughts that make me stop and ponder, even for just five seconds, and help me remember what’s important to me, and about life. [also, gina is pregnant and due on my birthday!]


here’s a thoughtful quote from just earlier this week: “develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” ~ brian tracy

quite a while ago – july, in fact! – gina put up a post about 50 questions she had come across.

click here for gina’s blog entry.

and here is the direct link to the site where she found the 50 questions: 50 questions that will free your mind.


at first, i thought i would answer all 50 of these questions – not all in one shot! i thought it might be fun to do 10 questions per day for five days. but upon further reflection, and as you’ll see if you review the questions, some are unanswerable. as the tag line on the 50 questions website states, “…sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.” so i’ve picked out 45, instead.


five seems like a nice round number.

1. how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? i’m going to knock 10 years off my *real age,* and that makes me 31. my rationalization: 1) i can still pluck out any random grey hairs that show up on my head ie. they are few and far between 2) physically, i feel spry and in shape, and i have lots of energy 3) sometimes, i feel naive about “life” – how to handle certain issues or unexpected events that occur.

13. would you break the law to save a loved one? without question.

19. if you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? easy! florida! maybe i’m being unadventuresome with this answer but i. love. florida (i even have flipflops, purchased in florida in 1989, that say that on the straps!). for choice of cities, i would go with sarasota. tampa is too big (and confusing – never been so turned around in my life as when i was trying to navigate its thoroughfares). i love hot weather, love the beach, love shopping, and sarasota also offers culture and whole foods! i am ruling out aruba as it’s a fab place to vacation but there’s just not enough to do on the island for the long term. moab, utah is also high on my list…i think i need to re-visit both moab and sarasota and make my choice!…

30. what is your happiest childhood memory and what makes it so special? i have tons of happy memories from my childhood. but here’s the one that popped into my head when i saw this question: our family was not rolling in money when the brother and i were little – my mom stayed at home and my dad worked for a local insurance company. we were very comfortable but my parents had to watch the budget a bit. a real treat was when we would go to mcdonalds for lunch after church on sunday. we did not go every week. and we never knew if we were going to go until the drive home at noon – if dad took a certain road, we knew it was a mcdonalds day! the brother and i would clap and practically dance in the back seat of the car. i think this memory is so special because it was family time all together, i loved the fillet o’ fish/fries food, and the joyful surprise factor was just too much fun.

37. if you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? i would not! i love my job to pieces and it makes me feel very happy and fulfilled. i would be bored out of my mind if i had tons of time on my hands. yes, i know i would have a million dollars to spend (!) but even shopping (for things i don’t really need) and traveling would grow old, eventually. i am a bit of a hoarder of money, by nature, so i would likely bank the million, think for a while on what i want to do with it, buy presents for friends and family, set up a charity for disadvantaged local children…and well, let’s be honest…buy running shoes!

if you check out the 50 questions, share an answer (or any of the q’s above)! bonus q & a: #5 – what is the one thing you would most like to change about the world? even out the great divide between the financially rich and the poor.

what’s a motivational quote or mantra that rings true to you? my ultrarunning friend used to say “this is tough, but we are tougher.” i’ve always liked that one.

question for ya

it’s really surprising that i don’t trip on the sidewalk and fall on my head when i’m out and about.

the best window shopping in the ‘hood is the section of king street – either side – between erb and william streets. when i’m going up or down this stretch, my head is permanently turned to the right as i gaze in the store windows (i seem to always head UP towards william street, then BACK towards erb street, hence the direction of the head turn).

this is one of the more interesting store fronts on “the strip:”

indy/funky clothing store in uptown

i practically pulled a spiderman


in front of delirium this week.

my skirt is back!!!

this is one of those pieces that has grabbed my heart!!

i don’t know how many moons ago it was when i first saw this skirt. last fall? the winter? i totally forget. i DO remember pointing it out to mom and dad when we walked past one time and gushing over it.


here’s a close-up of the fabric:

notice the motif...

yes, the repeating pattern is of the virgin mary.

i have this thing for unique, colourful, noticeable fabric prints. i have owned several items from peach berserk, among them…

my "eyeball shirt," as i call it - the sleeves have kissy kissy lips, too!

[funny story: i’ve also had a skull and crossbones hoodie from peachie, and a top that had soldier faces, circa “the war of 1812” on it. a woman actually asked me if that was hitler on that one. can you believe that?!]

here’s the dilemma: do i feel comfortable, as a respectful christian, wearing a skirt of the virgin mary? would that be a sign of disrespect? is it blasphemous?

back in aruba, in march, i bought my catholic-themed bracelet:

recognize mother teresa, the pope, the virgin mary, and others?

again, it’s one of those items that i just had to have because of its quirkiness and orginality and it warms my heart to wear it. however, it’s one thing to wear a small and inconspicuous bracelet that gives me a private chuckle, and quite another to flounce about in a look-at-me, attention-grabbing skirt. but i adore it so.

how comfortable are you with “making a statement” with your clothing? i draw the line at swear words. although i can’t say that the french connection logo hasn’t made me pause in consideration! to do a personal psycho-analysis, i’m guessing that i find borderline-outrageous items a way to express my inner, oft-suppressed rebel. how’s that for playing armchair shrink?!




treat: powerbar chocolate protein bites

price: $3.09 (price with my staff discount) … + hst!!

rating: *** 1/2 (three and half stars)

tasting notes: for frankenfood, these are pretty freakin’ awesome. there’s a crunchy outer layer which covers the chewier inside. i could pop these babies like bonbons all day long. and 20 g of protein per package! i just wish they were cheaper!