Monday, July 31, 2006

Coach and Partner

How is it possible that I can get up one day for a quick half hour run and struggle through with my legs feeling like they've got concrete in them and I can only think about getting home, and then the next day get up feeling all achey from swimming at the beach and then go out and run 18 km feeling light as a feather and as if I do this every day? Huh? D. says I'm peaking at the right time (with the race less than two weeks away now). That's my coach. He's so supportive and positive when I struggle through those days of doubt, pain and early mornings. He encourages me when I have my best days (like today) when I feel I could run forever despite the humidity and heat alert in whoville. He called after I got home to check in and see how the run went. I was pretty certain that it would be far more difficult than it was. He's always there with "I told you you could do it" or "I never had any doubt that you could do it. The race will be easy." Swoon.

He really was a coach once. He coached football in France -- no, not soccer, but american style football in France. He coached in Canada as well (I think. Yes, he must have since that's how he got to coach in France). He did well. The team went to the championships. I met him for the first time just after he came back from France, after he decided to throw in the towel (so-to-speak) and walk away from coaching. It must have been a difficult decision for him, life changing in many ways. It was years after that that we became a couple and then eloped (sorry family)

When I started running I joked about him being my coach to get me through the tough days. I know he's my partner and would be supportive anyway, but he has coached me as well when I've asked him to, telling me to take a day off when I need to, motivating me to go for it, or helping me re-jig the running schedule when I'm working a lot. I can't imagine getting through my races without him. It's been a year now since I started racing. When I return to S.J. for the Marathon by the Sea it will be a year since I ran my first race and there I will be at the same course where it all began. It's an anniversary I suppose and he'll be there at the start and the finish encouraging me all the way.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


We left whoville today. We left behind the humidity, the city air and all that stuff for a tiny beach that a friend knows of. It's lesser known and therefore far less crowded than the more popular beaches. We arrived early and it was glorious. A few tosses of the frisbee and some desperate attempts at some volleyball with a cheapo plastic ball bought at the beach shop and we were ready for the water. The water was perfect with a sandy bottom to the lake and clear water. It was so refreshing and relaxing. After a snack and more doing nothing, I went back in the water and just floated on my back. The sky was overcast, but not dark and gloomy just overcast. I could only hear the water around me and see the sky above. I love the water. I swam a little, but I really didn't have the energy to get going I just wanted to float and feel my body relax.

The sun never really came out fully until we were leaving and when it started to get busy. So, it was a good time to go and as you know even with the cloud I still felt the sun. What better way is there to spend a hot Sunday in July than a relaxing day at the beach?

Friday, July 28, 2006

"I am aglow"

Last night we went to see Sarah Harmer at the Harbour. It was an amazing night. A stage next to the lake with a light breeze blowing across made the event just that extra special. Her music live was even more lovely than the recordings. She has an incredible band supporting her and she opened with I am aglow, that has been floating through my head all week with the thought of the upcoming concert. She came back for two encores. It was an incredible concert, and a wonderful night.

Thanks D. for the birthday gift.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We're havin' a heat wave.

The heat is back. Humidity raises the tempertures beyond comfortable. I continue to bike through it. I continue to not complain. We had a few days when it felt a little cool at night and I started to miss the heat. It's back and I know it can be oppressive but I like it.

The weather is generally a subject I avoid since I find that it is often used as a conversation filler with people. Whenever there's a lull in coversation inevitably the weather will come up. Even if it is the perfect temperature outside someone will bring up the weekend forecast or a dramatic change in weather in another part of Canada or the world. I understand this urge since it's a universal experience, something we can share with another person no matter how well or little we know them.

Even in the humidity and under the high UV levels, I continue to bike, run and walk everywhere. I do these things at a slower pace than usual. I do not want to face the rush hour street car with standing room only or the treadmill at the gym (although the gym does have some new kick a** bikes I'm eager to try out -- I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for them to replace those same clunky four upright bikes that I stopped riding all together because they became so annoying to use. Yes, I complained to them to get them fixed, but complaints often fall on deaf ears there). We don't own a car nor do we need to living where we do. So I've been moving through the thick heavy air a gear lower on the bike, shortening my stride and taking a few minutes more to complete my running goals, slowing my walking pace from point A to point B. The benefits outside of keeping my body temperature lower have been that I've taken time to notice the city around me that reflects what's going on in my interior world. I've taken time to notice the gardens (of course) and the choice and placement of plants or the randomness of blooms. I've passed by rental properties, taking in the possible benefits and drawbacks of living in the space, taking into consideration the houses next to and across from the property, if it's on an alley or not, how the exterior is maintained (or not) and I've even noticed cats in windows or dogs barking close by.

I've discovered new routes to and from work. On my way to work there are a few cross sections that are necesary to pass through. The crossing guard remains at the corner because of day camps and day cares. She speaks to mostly everyone. I see the same elderly man taking his morning walk. There's a small group in the park doing Tai Chi every morning. It looks very enticing. I wish I had time and/or the courage to join them. There's often a woman doing yoga in the park and it looks so serene. I can't imagine being able to do yoga alone in such a public place. Coming home I tend to be a little more focused on the destination than the world around me and I tend to stick to the same route that is quick, safe and avoids a steady climb north. I'm still trying to find the best way home that avoids the busy streets as much as possible. There's not much time to look around if you have to worry about the traffic speeding past you or the street car stopping at every corner.

Today, I'm slowing my pace to walk to the gym instead of biking. This evening I have a catering job at the other end of town, way way out at one of whoville's Ikeas. This seems an odd place for us to be working, but what do I know about how these things get booked. I just get the phone call with the time and place. I won't be biking. There is a limit and there's also a threat of a thunder storm so I'll take the long air conditioned subway journey. It will be a break from the heat and a good chance to catch up on one of the many books I have on the go. Maybe we'll get the burst that will break the heat spell and maybe when I leave work the storm will have passed and the streets will be dark and wet, the air still and cool.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ode to Lillies

The LaMancha lily has such a dark rose colour. It's very powerful. We seem to have more in the garden than I remember. I could go overboard. I have gone overboard with the images, haven't I? Why not. It's July and the garden overflows with colour at this time of year. Just wait until the dahlias come out in full force! They're the queen of flowers.

I can just imagine D's mom's garden since she has tiger lillies all along the fence for about twenty feet.

My grandmother's N.B. garden had lillies that curved along the stone wall behind the garage. They felt so common to me when I was a child. I didn't know there were more to lillies than just that variety that she grew.

I was visiting mister anchovy's blog today and lo and behold more lillies. So if you find anymore lily images from blogs let me know.

Of course the yellow lily image at the top is not mine. I pulled from the Martha Stewart site. I picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living yesterday (yes it's true I occasionally pick up the mag when it's not too heavy on the meat recipes or images) and there's a section on the flower.

I've seen some spectacular colours in the neighbourhood. I ran through a large area of central whoville today, purposefully taking the shadier more garden rich streets. After my run when I arrived home and saw the sun on the garden, I was inspired to put up this post.

If you have lily stories or comments please post. I would love to hear them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Still Life with Mango Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


No, it's not my biological clock (I guess I wasn't given one when they were being handed out).
It's the week(s) going by. Some days race past me before I even take notice of them and then lo and behold the week is gone.
Moving day comes closer all the time. We've planned a small vacation before then, but I think more about moving than I do vacation. It's not hard to understand why that is. No one I know likes moving. What really irks me is all the stuff accumulated the longer I stay put in a place. I use to move a lot more frequently. When I was in my twenties I once counted that I had moved almost as many times as year I had lived. I'm pretty sure I can no longer say that being way up in my thirties now.
Anywho...I'm feeling better about moving because I've been checking out rentals on line and it's not as bleak as I originally thought. I actually saw a place for rent pretty close by and when I checked out the location it was the house across the street! I don't think so. It would make me crazy watching someone ruin the garden (or make it better). I'd be obsessed with how they were treating the house. I think at least a block away and further will be necessary.

Vacation. Yes, back to that magical place in the woods of N.B. Peace and quiet. The sound of coyotes, owls and loons. My brother wants to fish this time around. I said "I don't eat them, why would I fish them?" I'll be on the beach reading or lying in the hammock with Little Joe (my brother's Chihuahua).

While there, I plan to do the half marathon again, marking the year anniversary since I completed my first half marathon in the very same town. That did go fast, didn't it? I feel like such a young runner and I'm about to do my fourth race. All that time when it felt like I couldn't train forever and I am running and the time has flown past me.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Entering Little Italy.  Posted by Picasa

People came from all over. Most people celebrated in the other Little Italy so this stretch was relatively calm in comparison. That is why we chose to walk along here as opposed to Corso Italia.  Posted by Picasa

Vecchio Posted by Picasa

The deli made certain that it cashed in. There were also spontaneous mini soccer games breaking out all along the street.People celebrated and passed soccer ballsl to each other.  Posted by Picasa

The biggest flag I've seen yet.  Posted by Picasa

We met Lucky who comes out for every Italian win. He was taking a break on the police car. His mum, Maria, said he was safer there.  Posted by Picasa

Flags & cops were everywhere.  Posted by Picasa

Sr. Italia Posted by Picasa

whoville's little Italy Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 08, 2006

For this I'm grateful

The house feels right. Three cats is a good number. Svetlana finally gets some peace to sleep. She's now 18 and needs to live her life in peace without random attacks from Primavera. The addition of GiGi has brought balance into their lives. Prima now watches Gi's every move and the two of them play together, chasing one another around in the morning and evenings. Prima finally has her playmate and GiGi isn't a lonely kitten coming into a house all alone. She has other cats around her so that when we're gone all day, she's never alone. This is just the right mix for us.

Our weather has been so wonderful lately. We get humid days but we've had such cool evenings so it feels like a reasonable summer. We've yet to have a really long series of hot, humid days that make being in the house unbearable. This too feels balanced.

I'm adjusting to yet another work schedule. I've picked up more hours at L.V. I turned down a catering shift this week which is most unlike me. I say yes to all catering shifts. Something has changed. The newness of the job has worn and I'm becoming more selective like the seasoned employees that I've been working with all along. True, I didn't want to miss the soccer game tomorrow, but I also felt I'd reached a limit when I was standing absurdingly behind the faux child's lemonade stand at my last gig. I felt that there was a line crossed and perhaps too much asked of me. I need a break from catering, or from the ridiculous demands of some of the clients.

Our garden fills in more with each day. The changes are hard to keep up with. Tiger lillies have shot up everywhere around the base of the mulberry tree, purple coneflowers spread wider with each day, pink and white cottage roses continue to drop petals and reblooms, the purple and white hosta blooms jut straight up and away from their broad bases. The white lillies look almost too magestic for the rear garden and the hydrangea's round clustered blossoms have taken over the far corner of the garden, completely concealing any sign of the black compost bin. The ligularia's vibrant yellow long stemmed head bobs from side to side, leaning into the pathway. My geraniums I planted in tomato tins are two shades of pink and the more traditional red. I've decided to plant parsley in the other tins since our parsley hasn't fared well in the herb garden.
I can't wait to see what comes next.

I can't help myself from imagining how I would work with the garden now and still move things around, re-adjust some of our transplants from last year to give more of a balance to the shape of the garden, but the thought of moving keeps me from proceeding since I know this could be my last chance to just enjoy what I see. Stop and smell the roses, right? I'm trying.

D. is working on the pizza right now. I'm having pesto on my half. Our first fresh pesto of the season. I hope I remember to take photos to share with you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Garden Dishes

Well I am at the end of my week but here's one outlook.

"This week's scenario is highlighted by hard work and concentrated effort and are the key issues for this time period. You are faced with tasks that are tedious and difficult but which must be completed at this time. Fortunately, you have the mental concentration and stamina to tackle the tasks now but the demands are still more than you would like to cope with. This is a difficult time period, but at least your work is cut out for you. You are likely to discover flaws in your creative projects, neglected aspects of projects you are involved with, and tedious, detailed work that you have been putting off."

All of the above is applicable. So...if you see any "flaws" in my blog (it's a creative project) let me know...or actually don't. I don't need that do I?

Now to the food...

We've already started cooking from the garden. Last week when my mother came to visit I used chard from both our fresh organic delivery box and the garden to throw a quick pasta together. I did include some oven dried tomatoes from last years garden. That should be the last of those.

The rapini was beginning to bolt so I cut it back, cooked it with some more chard, and then processed it with tofu, garlic, celery, salt and pepper for a Spanakopita filling. Pictures? Sorry I forgot to take pictures. Next time. The trick with phyllo (as I learned from Wandering Coyote) is to work quickly and don't be intimidated by it, it's actually quite simple.

D. used the Hungarian Hot wax pepper in his vegan bolognese sauce last night. It's my favorite dish.

Salads, salads and more salads. The tango lettuce I planted from seed is doing great and the dandelion is just coming along. We had a lovely mixed salad of tango, dandelion, arugula, sorrel and baby chard. It was delicious.

Our tomatoes are doing great so you'll hear about nothing but tomato sandwiches, salads and sauces for a while. Why else would we grow all that basil too?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Italy to the finals!

Italy is in the final!  Posted by Picasa

Yesterdays semi-final between Germany and Italy was a great game. It really could have gone either way and yet...I am excited to see Italy in the final. I am hopeful and cannot wait for Sunday. I don't care who they play (France or Portugal), I'm just glad they are there.

D. had hung an Italian flag on the porch. Unfortunately, someone stole the flag and I know it was one of the "Gummos" from across the street. Sure enough, after the game yesterday I see one of the Gummos come skating out on his inline skates wearing a flag around his neck. He averted my look in his direction. L. said she could see the rust spot on the flag that identified it as ours. Who steals a flag?

Monday, July 03, 2006

The lazy hazy days of summer

A long weekend. It was my birthday weekend as well. I had time to garden, run, play with the cats, watch soccer, visit with my mom, and the weather was good (albeit quite hot and at times humid). The last posting was also the day GiGi appeared. A little kitten has come into our lives and it's all working out. Prima is curious and the two play together. Svetlana keeps to herself and hopes they don't encounter too often. So...we have a new member of the cast! Welcome GiGi.

GiGi has since destroyed the tent she's pictured with (as you can tell from the photo, she's working on the dismantling of it) but we found a more suitable one at Ikea. No matter how many belly flops she does on the top of it, it doesn't collapse. So Super G can fly through the air and enjoy.

Prima seems to be very attentive. It's a good companion for Prima I'm sure.


My mom came to whoville for my birthday. I raced home from work to watch the Italy/Ukraine game and there she was. I wasn't totally suprised though because I thought I sensed something when I had spoken to her on the phone a few days earlier. Fortunately, mom loves soccer too (the fruit doesn't fall far, does it?) and we watched the game together.


Ahh, Fressen (, that heavenly vegan restaurant with the fine dining atmosphere. My birthday dinner was divine. Fressen's summer menu is more like tapas so the five of us dining together ordered 10 different dishes and it was overwhelmingly delicious.

We came home after dinner and had mom's gingerbread cake with whipped soy topping, raspberries and soy gelato from La Paloma A delicious birthday.

Now I'm enjoying the time with GiGi before I go back to work tomorrow.