Monday, December 31, 2007


I've been reading other blogs with reviews of personal growth and change and everything that has happened to these lives over the year. I didn't want to look at my past year.

Actually I usually do a year review on my birthday in June, but reading others reviews and listening to the radio review the year of events whether entertaining or political (or both) did lead me to reflect on my year.

A quick reflection led me to "oh crap I'm still in the same job I said I wouldn't be in" and I ended it there.

More reflection led me to "wait a minute" I ran a freakin' marathon this year for the first time ever and I then went and did another one!

This led me to "oh yeah I really had a pretty good year."

So here are some of the highlights (most of which seem to be running related):

  • ran my first marathon with my entire family present and in one of my most treasured places on this earth, Tofino.
  • My sister and I also raised over 800 dollars for the Fauna Foundation from those that supported our Tofino run. Thanks again everyone!
  • ran an amazing time in the Vancouver half and felt great doing it.
  • ran a half marathon getting positive nods from other runners for my form and pace. This was the first run I did completely on my own without someone at the start or finish. I had to find a way to motivate myself.
  • ran another marathon and improved my time by 8 minutes!
  • db let me know that he was committed to being vegan.
  • set up a pretty incredible garden with not a whole lot to work with.
  • learned to love running hills.
  • reconnected with a university pal that I hadn't seen in years that led to story editing work and a our renewed friendship.
  • found a new passion for reading mostly thanks to joining the fall reading challenge.
  • took my first woodworking course and built a little stool. It's ab it wobbly but I loved the course. (I'm about to take a second one in January).
  • got to travel a bit in BC and it reminded me of how much I love this place. I spent so much time wondering if I would ever get back here and now that I live here I'm constantly awed by it's beauty.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas (cat themed) photos

Some people say that Christmas is for the kids, but here in whoville it is for the cats.

We had a little snow Christmas day. db and I went for a walk around dusk and headed further up the hill so we'd have a little more snow. The higher elevation makes just a little difference and up higher the snow was less slushy. We have several cat decorations on the tree. I like this one in particular because Gigi has a very similar basket that she sleeps in.

Svetlana marked the top of the tree. We've done this in the past, but this year it seemed all the more appropriate that she should be with us at Christmas in this way.
Prima amongst the snowflake garland.
Gigi attacks the snowflake garland. She's been doing this since I pulled it out of the box. I picked her up and she brought the garland with her, continuing her attack.

I taped the Newcastle/Derby game. Gigi watched some of it with me.
Then she got involved in the game.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

what does a vegan do for Christmas?

...well I eat of course. We vegans are just like everybody else stuffing ourselves silly.

here is what I've been up to:

  • Christmas eve day I worked part of the day and then was let off early (woohoo!).
  • Christmas eve we had friends to dinner. They brought a very rare bottle of a Super Tuscan wine we've never had (db help me out with the details of it). db and I served (well db gets most of the credit since I was at work while he cooked): mushroom, basil & pinenut bruschetta, homemade squash and mushroom lemon pepper ravioli with tomato sauce, mixed green salad with pomegranate mustard vinaigrette, and noel nog/kahlua truffles for dessert. It was our best ravioli ever.
  • Christmas day. I slept in. We had more of a brunch than breakfast with a tall noel nog latte, bagels and Sheese (i'll explain Sheese later), biscotti, fresh pineapple, and panforte (too much sugar probably but it's Christmas!).
  • Later that day...I lounged and knit while watching Miracle on 34th street.
  • Still later...we prepped dinner by marinating mushrooms and veg for our completely raw Christmas feast of carrot and parsnip fettucine with pumpkin seed and chile pesto served with Portabello carpaccio and mushroom ceviche (we really like mushrooms). With this we had a simple salad with asparagus and a light creamy dill dressing. db served a Chateauneuf du Pape (oh my gravy it was good!). More truffles were eaten later that evening while watching It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Boxing Day! No shopping! Yay! We ferried over to Nanaimo to see my step-dad who gave us our gift:
This is the ultimate text on identifying mushrooms. Being a beautiful sunny day, we went for a walk in a nearby park and ended up poking around the forest floor digging up various mushrooms. I had no idea there was such a variety. We froze our fingers carrying these things back to pw's car. It was worth it. In no time I was searching for mushroom characteristics and getting pretty good at identifying with much guidance from pw. As he said "I have no excuse now" to keep me from going out and foraging for my own chanterelles.

I guess there was a bit of a mushroom theme to Christmas. They are divine aren't they.?

I'm back to work but let's not go there now and ruin the fun I've had.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

it's here!

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm a little late I know but I do hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Yes it's here. The ultimate vegan cookbook (hey that's part of the title!) arrived under the tree (yes, we did say "no gifts". db and I did hold up the bargain, but we both know each other just that well to know that the other would buy one thing). Here it is. I will sing it's praises only after I've tried some recipes, but I've read through a good chunk of it and I have to start singing praises now because it is an entertaining read as well. If you've ever ventured over to the post punk kitchen blog you'll know what I mean.
For now you can see some pictures if you click here.

More later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

writing through the block

I’m a bit overwhelmed with where to begin. Nothing extraordinary has happened to me this past week, but I seem to have found little time for any computer activity whether it is emails or blogs. What overwhelms me is the amount I could write about since so much goes on in a day and in a week. Have I missed that moment that occurred to me while I was living my life and I thought I should write a little blurb about it on the blog?

With a day off and a corner of “free” time for writing I’m facing a blank page and asking “now what?” This has always been a dilemma for me. I’ve never been someone who could just sit down and write and have it all flow so easily. Does such a person exist? Sure the first draft of something short can come somewhat easily, but returning to it to really break it down and work with it, seeing it for what it is can be the most feared thing for me.

I’ve always struggled with facing the blank page or even the written page that needs editing. So far I’ve never been able to overcome that fear which has subsequently left me with much unfinished work. After all without a deadline from someone else what is to keep me from improving on becoming the world’s greatest procrastinator?

I’m not sure if it was Wandering Coyote’s post or not that made me think about my blog, but I did set out to create whoville with specific intentions. I wanted to give myself a space to share my life with my friends and family and also have a place to be creative if I wanted to. If you want to read my blog manifesto you can read my first post. It sounds a little different from what I’ve just said, but I set out not knowing where I was going with this and maybe that’s the point. It’s my on-line journal where I share, vent and hopefully have a good laugh now and then.

If I don’t catch every little moment that I think to blog about it’s not a big deal. If I face the blank page and decide today is not the day to blog then so-be-it. Maybe I need to think of all my writing this way. I have scraps of paper littered all over this apartment with notes to self, lists, images and ideas that I think I should expand on. The problem is when I come to face that blank page I never find these notes very inspiring, that is if I can find them. Then there is always the question of time. How can I best manage my time so that I secure some writing hours? Do I have to give up running, yoga, cooking, playing with the cats? Do I have to become a 5 am riser to write first thing in the morning before I go to work? Is this writer’s block? Maybe. If it is then I need to face the blank page and put some words on it or else because that’s the only way I’m going to get anything written.

Friday, December 14, 2007

HumanCar - Politics of Carbon Hybrid Human Auto

P. sent me this and I loved it. If you read my earlier post about the Zenn car and know how much I love my bike you'll understand why this appeals to me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

do what you can

When you try to cram everything into your one day off at some point you have to realize that it just can't be done. You have to slow your pace down and finish what you can.

I've also been applying this to work. We are so incredibly busy at work that at some point yesterday I said to myself that I have to just get done what I can. There are so many orders coming in from so many directions (web, phone, delivery) that it is impossible to keep on top of it. I kept thinking at some point I'll catch up and get this done, but I never did. Near the end of my shift I was mentally spent. I couldn't focus on one thing for too long because I was just too exhausted to get anything else done.

Last night I fell asleep in the beginning of the second period of the Blues game (we had it on tape and were watching it after dinner). db tried to wake me when they scored but I found it impossible to keep my eyes open. I went to bed. I watched the rest of the game today. For some reason I thought db had told me that the Blues won 4-3, but when I watched the game today they did anything but. They lost to Edmonton in a shoot-out. I was completely suprised by this. At least I gained some points in the hockey pool and moved out of last place.

With all that rest last night, I had a little extra energy today and went to the gym for a fast paced run on the treadmill. I felt I could break the 8 minute mile today, but I didn't push it that far. I did a short fast run and had a good weight session in a relatively empty gym. I love having the weight room to myself.

I'm considering running in mid-February in the "Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon." It might be a bit of a motivator and a good way to warm up for the 2008 running season. I've had enough down time. I'd better decide since I need to start training asap.


Baking is something I haven't done much of lately. Today's vegan choc. chip cookies (db's favorite) were a bit of a warm-up to my Christmas baking. It was too overwhelming to dive right into Christmas baking in my one day off so I thought I'd wait for the weekend and just do a warm up and get those choc. chip cookies done. They turned out great so I guess I'm ready for a sugar cookie now.

Finally, I'm posting this photo because my mom asked me to. I just found this picture while going through my photos and labelling them in preparation for storing them on discs.
That's our dear sweet Svetlana in the middle who is no longer with us. She passed on in June. Gigi is on the right snoozing away and is as aloof as ever. Last but not least is Prima on the left with her smirk on. This is a rare photo because these three were hardly ever seen to share the same space, which is probably why we reached for the camera. Svetlana and Prima did sleep next to each other only because Prima is so territorial that she would find Svetlana wherever she was and park herself next to her (that is if she didn't swat her away first). Anywho, I thought I'd share the photo. I've put it on my desktop for now.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

some text for a change

I'm bagged. The Christmas rush is on and has been on for the last few weeks and I don't know when we'll get a breath at work. It's mayhem. On my feet all day and having to multi-task left me fairly brain drained by the end of the day.

In the middle of all the craziness there were some shining moments:

- a co-worker wearing a sleighbell that didn't jingle all the time, but occasionally I'd hear it somewhere in the warehouse and it would make me smile.

- Christmas potluck week one. We split potluck into two weeks since there is so much staff. The selection today pleasantly surprised me from the crowd that consumes a horrific amount of Tim Horton donuts and Wendy's lunches. Today there was a great selection of food and I'm vegan!

- another coworker made a beautiful centrepiece for our plain lunchroom table. It was decorated with fresh fruit, pinecones, ribbon and was three dimensional. It was incredible. He's a real talent.

- the bozo the clown punching bag. You know the ones for kids that you knock over and they come back up. Our manager brought this one in. He's taken some abuse this week (the clown not the manager). He's been decorated and has had a few notes attached to him that made me laugh.

- the end of the day. Coming home to db and the kitties and having a Newcastle (soccer) game on tape ready to watch. (We changed our satellite package so that I could get Setanta sports and see all of the Newcastle games. It's been so worth it).


This past week I woke early in the morning (or perhaps it was middle of the night I can never tell) to the yip, yip sounds of a coyote right outside our window in the front yard. Ambulance and police sirens were blaring somewhere in the distance and the coyote seemed to be reacting to this. Then s/he did a bit of a howl and yip and started to bark. I could hear the voice getting further away and knew s/he was on the street. It was very startling in the still night and by the time I was aware enough to wake db, the coyote was already well on its way, barking and yipping.

Odd but I thought of the cats and worried about where they were even though I know they are safely inside since they're indoor cats. I don't think Gigi even stirred from her cozy fleece tent.


As i've noted before I've started my Winter Reading Challenge and I'm wondering already about the list I posted. Since I was already reading Don Quixote when the challenge started I added it to my list. However, it is a lengthy tale and I wonder if it is going to take me the entire challenge to complete it? It really is an enjoyable read and very funny at times. I'm afraid if i put it down I'll not get back to it like I've done in the past. I suppose this is my challenge. On the WRC blog I posted that the challenge was going to be about finishing things I started so I guess I should worry less about finishing all the books on my list and just focus on the book at hand.


db is about to make vegan bagels! Today we start our Christmas food prep. Yummy.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

giant truffle

Giant truffle sets record price is a story I've been following since I first saw the photo of a truffle uncovered by a truffle dog. I've only had fresh truffles once (in Italy of course) and it was divine. I love their aroma and earthy flavor. I hope the new owner of the truffle puts it to good use and shares it with many.

Winter Reading Challenge

I've posted my reading list on the Winter Reading Challenge. If you want to participate you can. Go here for the guidelines and how to sign up.

Monday, December 03, 2007

saturday and sunday snowfall

It was a winter wonderland on Saturday and Sunday. We got a considerable amount of snow and it was beautiful. However, by late afternoon on Sunday the rain started and it was all running away, building big puddles and slushy sidewalks near ankle deep. Only the main drags are ploughed here so being a pedestrian in whoville is a little treacherous.

Today it is a all awash in rain. There are wind and flood warnings. so we're back to the same old wet weather I expect in December.

Gigi really enjoyed the big snowflakes.

I thought this tree was particularly whovillian.