Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boxing Day

Boxing day we wanted to go for a walk because Christmas day we didn't go outside at all. This is just outside our house. That's db's company car buried in the bank.

The Boxing day the weather wasn't much better than the rest of the week, but we decided to brave the snow and slippery streets.

Our goal was Bert Flynn Park mainly because we were curious. How much snow would accumulate in such a well canopied forest? The most direct route makes the park about 3 km from our house and most of the walk is uphill.
Here's db at the start of our journey. The snow was blowing into our faces for the first half of the walk.
It was slow going, but once we got to David Ave the road levels out and it was a bit easier going except we couldn't walk on the road anymore because David is too busy a street.
Here's one of the many footpaths where the sidewalk should be. This is along David Ave and as you can see people were out driving in the mess.
We reached the bridge that crosses Noon's Creek and decided that Bert Flynn Park was too tough going on that footpath. After we crossed the bridge I saw that the trail along Noon's Creek was being used.

One of the things I love about living in Whoville/Port Who-dy is the numerous footpaths and trails that connect roads. While the roads may twist and wind up the hills, the footpaths are often more direct routes.

We decided to get off the main road which was turning out to be less fun and head down the trail that follows the creek. The trails had been traveled enough so we could see where the paths led so we'd know which way we were going. From where we were there was really only one direction at that point and that was downhill. We were happy to be headed down the mountain.

It was beautiful in the woods. All the sounds were muffled so we couldn't hear the noise from houses or traffic. Everything was covered with a thick layer of snow so we really felt enclosed in the woods. It was beautiful. We kept following trails, not really knowing where it led, but I knew eventually it would come out on one of the main roads somewhere down the mountain.

We met a future nurse tree on the way. He looked pretty happy.

Eventually we did come out on Heritage Mtn Rd and then trekked to the video store before heading home.


I wanted to see the Trailer Park Boys Christmas special since I'd never seen it. It's quite fun and I love the Christmas message in it ("Christmas is about getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family) given by Ricky in true Trailer Park Boys fashion. Now that's the Christmas spirit.

Later we watched I'm Not There.
This is the Todd Haynes film about Bob Dylan. It is a remarkable film, a dramatized version of what is known about Dylan's life. There are six Dylans with different names who are all portrayed by different actors one of whom is a woman, Cate Blanchett and another is an African American kid played by Marcus Carl Franklin. Each represents a part of Dylan whether real or imagined. The fragmented storylines are like a compilation album. It might not be all the songs you want to hear, but you get an overview of the artist's complete work. However, this isn't just about the songs, this is about the personae. It seems fitting that for someone like Dylan that several actors should depict him.
The style and settings of the film shifts with the actors. Each character is in his (or her) landscape and the colours and setting reflect each storyline.
I highly recommend this film.

Prima had a good boxing day as well. She likes to stick close to the tree. I think she's watching t.v. in this shot.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's come the snow again

A little weather update.

So we made it through the last 30 cms. The main roads are plowed, but the sidestreets are kind of left on their own. Sidewalks? Forget it. There are no sidewalks unless a business decides to shovel around its store. Sidewalks around schools are plowed, but just to the school property limit and then the pile of snow and more footpaths. It's slow going for a pedestrian like me, but I'm enjoying the workout and I'm just glad my local shuttle bus is running since they often don't when we get a lot of snow because the hills are just too steep.

Tonight we're supposed to get a little more snow followed by even more snow tomorrow. It's just going to get more interesting. db and I are going to a friend's place tomorrow evening so I'm thinking the bus is the best option even though db has the company car over the holidays.

Needless to say running outdoors is not an option. There are no sidewalks to run on. The gym has limited hours tomorrow and is closed on Christmas so I'll just have to go for a walk on the snowbank/sidewalk and call it a day.

Christmas dinner is decided. Originally we were going to make stuffed eggplant, but db really wanted to make something Italian since it's a bit of a tradition in his family. So we're going to make canneloni stuffed with butternut squash and mixed mushrooms. It will be baked with db's fabulous and famous tomato. Christmas day will be about the cooking (like any holiday or special event in our house).


On the bus home I travelled with a young co-worker (young as in just 20 years old). Last year when he found out I was vegan I had to explain what vegan meant and he was shocked that such an option existed and kept asking me things like "you don't even eat chicken?" It was one of those "what do you eat" moment and actually was kind of funny.

Well he's come a long way in a year. We talked a lot about food on the bus ride home and it seems he's more aware of eating more healthy and showed concern over fast food and how unhealthy it is to eat that way. I could also hear that he understood better why I'm vegan. He was telling me about a restaurant in van city that he thought I might enjoy and searched his wallet for their business card. While he was searching he came across a KFC coupon. I said to him, "don't ever eat there." He said "I know I shouldn't. I saw a video on-line about how they get the meat from their chickens." He'd seen a PETA video on KFC and he said he couldn't eat there anymore. He then said, "It's wrong what they're doing. If it's true." I assured him that the video was real and was just a glimpse into some of the horrors of the meat industry. He's obviously a little more of a conscious omnivore.

When we went our separate ways I felt good despite the subject matter. I could see how much he had grown in a year. He's very open to all kinds of foods and cuisines and was thoughtful and respectful of my choices. He was much more aware of vegetarianism. What a difference a year makes.


I just finished Peter Singer's and Jim Mason's book The Way We Eat: Why our Food Choices Matter. I'll hopefully get a review up shortly on the Book Collective site. I'll write that one over the holidays.


For now I'm going to go watch the rest of the Blues game as they get defeated by the Red Wings. With so many injuries it's tough to watch the team struggle. Kariya, Andy MacDonald, Eric Brewer (the captain), Oshie, Eric Johnson, Jay McKee are all injured and are all key players. It's a wild time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is anyone grumbling yet because my last post was "let it snow"?

I heard about people trapped at Pearson airport on the news this morning and one of the people interviewed sounded like redjane! She said "I just want to get to my family in Nova Scotia" and there was something in her voice that sounded like redjane. I hope she's okay and not grounded for too long.

I hope everyone is okay in the snowstorm. We're getting one tomorrow so I'm going to stay in and do some Christmas baking. I don't think I'll be out running with my stabilicers on tomorrow. I'm crazy but not that crazy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let it snow

We got a full day of snowfall and the longer the snow fell the slower everything moved. My commute home took longer, but not by much. As I watched all the cars creep along the highway I was glad once again to be a transit commuter.

Once we got away from the traffic jam and the noise I could see that the snow has blanketed everything and it looks beautiful.

I use to hunker down at the first signs of winter, but now I enjoy it while I can because I know it will be brief. So I'm going to enjoy the snow while we have it. We may even have a white Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

As you can see Gigi had a good weekend. She likes the new tablecloth as the cats always do as soon as I put a clean one on the table. Yup cats rule the house and they can go wherever they like.

Saturday db had the company car so we could go get our Christmas tree. We drove out to Mission to the same tree farm we went to last year. The trees aren't sprayed with any pesticides so they're organic which is important when we consider the cats and how they like to chew, not to mention I don't want my Christmas tree off-gassing something other than its natural fragrance.

It's a beautiful setting on this little farm off the beaten path and it didn't take us too long to locate a tree we liked.

Here's db taking the saw to it.

It's a Fraser Fir and we managed to get it into the tiny Nissan versa db borrowed as long as I sat in the backseat with part of the tree over my shoulder. We'd picked up a re-usable Christmas tree bag from the Valley so the mess in the car was minimal.

Once we got it home we discovered it was a wee bit too tall so we had to take a bit off the top.

Saturday night we got a dusting of snow (I heard van city got quite a bit more than us which is unusual since we usually get the accumulation while they remain snow-free). It looked so pretty coming down oh so gently.

By morning there was a light coating of snow, but not enough to deter me from running. However once I got outside and over the fact that it was chillier than I thought, I realized that the sidewalks had just enough ice on them to make them unsafe for running. I walked back up the hill and put my icers over my sneakers and started again. Once I realized how well the icers worked I was running as usual. The noise was kind of like a tap-dancing sound of me clackity-clacking along the sidewalk, but it didn't bother me and there weren't many people out so I don't think it bothered anyone else either.

I'm officially crazy now that I'm going out for a run with ice spikes on my running shoes. As I left the house I looked back to see db in the window motioning that I was crazy. Maybe so. I had a good run though.

Monday, December 08, 2008

This was my perfect Sunday morning. There's my knitting, my tea latte and db's cinnamon rolls. db pulled the recipe from Bob's Red Mill website and made them gluten free. I went for my run and when I came back there was db at work in the kitchen sprinkling cinnamon over the dough.
They were delicious.

Prima enjoyed her Sunday as well in her new basket. She was a bit hesitant at first, but then realized it really was comfortable afterall.

It's hard to tell by the photo but dinner was Mushroom and Butternut Squash lasagna with a vegan bechamel sauce.

Oh, I love Sundays!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I had a good run last night. I went to the Running Room drop in run again. I was expecting more of the same (fartleks or a steady 5 k run or something), but no hills were on the schedule and a group of about 12 or 13 of us headed out into the night for a warm up run to a nearby park. Once at the park we ran 12 minutes of figure eights up and down the parking lot's gentle hill. The group leader said after our warm up "this is not a social club" and suggested that we run as hard as we could on the hill.

It was cool when we all started out together and then at the top some of the group went right and some went left so we spread out nicely. I moved pretty quickly, but after about 8 minutes I started to slow down and worked on just trying to keep a good pace without giving up.

We ran back to the Running Room for a total of 45 minutes of running. I have no idea how far I went since my watch is a basic one, I can't track distance on it. was a good workout and once again I was just happy to make it out for the run after a full day on my feet at work.


new and exciting:

(No, not the suspension of Parliament. I'm waiting for the news to come on so I can find out all the juicy details).

I just picked up the new Living Without Magazine and am very excited about the cookie recipes and the article on the 18 best wheat-free flours. Did you know they make cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and reisling flours? It's true. It's made from the "by-products of wine making."

I'm almost through another knitting project. It's so nice to be knitting again. Maybe I'll post some photos soon. I'm a little shy about my knitting projects and besides one might be a gift for someone reading this post so I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I also just discovered Lacey Jane Roberts who created the piece in the photo, We couldn't get in. We couldn't get out. As you can see she's an artist who makes sculpture with yarn.

After seeing some of the art pieces in the WACK exhibit that used yarn to change spaces or create spaces I discovered a whole new area of knitting, crocheting, crafting to appreciate.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

running circles

Training five people in the middle of a Christmas rush is a new experience for me. I like to think of myself as a patient person, but this new job may test that. We're only the first week of December and I'm already running circles, chasing people down to complete this task or show them how to correct an error or just to answer questions or resolve a customer's problem. It's fatiguing. I only have to do this for the month of December during the Christmas rush so let's see how long I last.

This morning I imagined myself going for a run after work. In the a.m. it was fairly warm and I was pretty well rested, but after being on my feet (or maybe that's my toes) all day I have been slowed to a shuffle. It hurts to stand so tonight I'll skip the run and try and get it in tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm excited about a potential coalition government. This is exciting politics! I'm loving the news right now. I just wish Elizabeth May was part of it.