Saturday, January 27, 2007


January 27th, 20073:24pm
  • Thought: "Dang it - there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get my bike to Toronto. Why could that be? Perhaps there's another alternative...perhaps...I could sell it and get myself a sweeet touring bike later... a bike Friday perhaps...ooooOOOOOoooh."

January 27th, 2007 3:25pm

  • Action: "Hello, Richard? It's Jodie L- here, I bought a Guru from you in 2005 and I'm back in town again and I was wondering if..."

  • Action: "Nan? Could it be possible for you to drive me over to Cycle Logic sometime today?"

January 27th, 2007 4:32pm

  • Consequence: Guru'classic 2003 is left at Cycle Logic to be commissioned off for just $200 less then purchased price.

  • Emotive Reaction: "Oh, it's really gone. Oh. Oh.... I'm going to miss that ol' gal. Oh. I hope I did the right thing! I pray for someone to come along and love it and use it as much as I did. We sure had some fun times together.

  • Defensive Reaction: I couldn't attach panniers to my Guru so it was strictly for racing through town. I find I carry waaay too much stuff on my back and it isn't practical. Besides, the Guru isn't exactly what I need for what I love doing: cycle touring.

  • Rational Reaction: It'll all work out okay in the end.

Thank you, Guru, for two seasons of surpurb cycling.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford

Gack: I can't believe it's Thursday. Already! I'm sitting amidst boxes and suitcases full of my life's possessions, considering how I'll get it all to Toronto. I move in 8 days and 18 hrs.

Careful consideration must be given to the important questions, like:
  • Should I bring my knitting? Will I have the time?
  • Do I have to leave my ski equipment behind? (Waaah!)
  • How many comfort books do I need to bring? Can I possibly do without Tim Moore's French Revolutions? or Timothy Finley's Not Wanted on the Voyage?
  • The breadmaker takes up a lot of room but will bring great joy. Is it worth the weight?
  • My bike - my poor, poor Guru - can it survive another jostling journey?
  • Can I make it on only six pairs of shoes?
  • Must I resort to shipping boxes across the country?
But two questions supersede all others:

1. Where will I put it all when I get to Toronto, and;
2. How much do I really need?

Makes me think of that famous song...

All you need is love, love... Loooove is all you need... everything else can be picked up along the way, I suppose.

Monday, January 22, 2007

With these hands...

It's 3am and I just have to share this with you:

So I'm leaving Invermere, B.C. tomorrow, er - later this morning and was just packing up after a lovely, rousing round of crib with Jay and Christine (just you wait until next time, Christine) when I was struck by the thought that I was leaving with something left unfinished. Then it hit me: I said I would varnish the railings on Jay and Christine's loft before I left. Good grief!

Now, I should explain something here. I have been visiting with my brother and his wife since the beginning of the year and we worked out a pretty sweet deal: I got a place to stay, good food to eat (I didn't realise how much I missed steaks!), and best of all, free ski passes and they got a laborer. For those who don't know, Jay and Christine have just finished building the house that they designed and constructed themselves - with the aid of a great many friends and family and a few professionals (mmm! We all like toilets that flush and lights that light up.) It's been quite a process, which happened very quickly, but they're at that finishing-up stage that seems to take much longer than it should.

Now herein lays the interesting part. I had a few tasks around the house, one being to stain a built-in bookcase (yeah, no: that's not the interesting part yet.) It took me two days, having to wait between coats and a heck of a lot of sanding. I was going to stain it all one colour, a dark brown, but after finding the trim had a coating that wouldn't take stain, I had to sand it all off and that's when I decided I really liked the contrast of the light wood with the dark stain. So after asking Jay and Christine's approval, I just varnished the trim, and this was the effect:

So I was in the midst of admiring my "brainchild of a laborer-job" when my brother comes up and smiles in a somewhat distracted way, and with a "Thanks Jodie, good job." it dawned on me: he built the whole house with his own two hands. He and his wife had a part in every decision and every process of this entire, huge house.

Imagine the creative liberties and awesome decisions they held in their hands... imagine the brute physical labor that was required to live out those complex visualization and plans. What a project!

Awakened to that perspective, I realised that at some point I just have to get on with the work, without the creative perfectionistic hang-ups that often prevents me from enjoying being a laborer, as with a project like this, there is just so very much work to be done.

And so, tonight, at midnight I crawled up into their loft and got down to varnishing the railing. It was a summbich of a job really, being so close to the ceiling, requiring me to hang one-handed off the ladder, and at several points resorting to sticking my brush through the railings to blindly slap at the top. But the end result is a shiny rail to match the shiny ceiling (that took Jay and Christine six evenings to put two coats of varnish over every slate that form the ceiling over the entire house.)

I'm just happy I could help out, and even though I haven't yet mastered the art of quiet appreciation of my efforts, I will say I sure had a fun time doing it!

(By the way, the working model of a carriage in the first photo was made by my Gramps, a vertran of the wood arts.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Let the feathers fly

Kay, what happens when you live in a small town and you don't have many opportunities to wear your fanciest clothes? Why, you just make the occasions. In this case, a volleyball tournament banquet. Here Jay and Christine come out with their finest feathers flying. What a hot couple!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hunting and Gathering

Right. So it's time for this chickie to grab her bow and arrows- er - I mean, her resume, and go a-job hunting. I know a few of you who are in the same boat at this time and I found this little exercise from the Gov. of Alberta (who knew!) really helpful for me to focus on a vision. Rather than just searching for something that might work just for now, envision where you'd like to see yourself in 10 years time. Try it out.... and use the pauses to think about your responses.

It's quite some time from now, maybe 10 years, maybe 20 and you're just waking up from a good sleep. You wake with the realisation that your life has gone almost exactly the way you've wanted it to... you get out of bed and begin noticing what's around you. You take notice of where you're living and what your home is like... you look outside and notice where you're living...– which town or city, which province or state, which pay attention to your immediate surroundings as you get ready for the day, taking special notice of who you're living with...a spouse, partner, children?... You also attend to your lifestyle -– your accommodations, furniture and hobby equipment– - as you walk around your place getting ready for the day...Now, you take a moment to think about the upcoming day, examining what you will be doing, who you will be with, and what you will enjoy most that day...Then, as you go outside for the first time, you come across a friend you haven't seen in a long time, and the friend asks about what you've been doing. You answer, describing your life and the things you'’ve been doing since the last time you saw this friend...and you describe two or three things that you have done since you last met that you especially proud of...

  • I look around my home and see ____________________
  • I'm living in ____________________
  • I will likely spend today with ____________________
  • Today I look forward to doing ____________________
  • Since I last saw my friend 10 or 20 years ago, I have been ____________________
  • My hobbies include ____________________

  • My work is ____________________

  • I am living a lifestyle that could be described as ____________________

  • The things that are really important to me are ____________________

  • The things that I am most proud of are ____________________

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Warm enough?

Skiing at Panorama yesterday was cold. Very cold, -25º at the top of the hill. At one point, a liftie told me that I should go in for a break, as she noticed white spots on my cheeks and nose. I laughed and told her this was our first run since coming out from lunch!

Today I rediscovered that my fancy ski coat actually came with a balaclava that attaches to the collar. I think I'll wear it tomorrow on the hill if I need to, sans the rabbit fur hat.

I'm just worried it might not be fashionable enough....

Joking! Just joking. I know skiing isn't about what you look like, or if you match.... right Nicholas? *wink* It doesn't matter what you wear if you ski like a hot damn.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bright Eyes

I was fortunate enough to be invited up to Big White several times over the Christmas holiday to enjoy skiing with Nicholas and his parents, and by happy coincidence, to catch up with Loren and Tiara and their new baby girl, Liv! She looked so sweet and sleepy in her bassinet but I guess she was saving her energy to howl at me when I held her for the first time. Tiara came to the rescue and after Liv got an early dinner, I tried again and this was the result, much to my enjoyment and relief...what a sparkly, bright-eyed girl!

Motherhood suits Tiara amazingly and even more amazing is that she'll be starting on a masters in international development next month at the University of Kwa-Zula-Natal in Durban, South Africa! They are in the midst of preparing to move back to Africa (they spent nearly all of 2005 in Tunisia, and have a terrific record of it here.) Little Liv is lucky that she'll have one of the most attentive fathers ever to care for her while her mother is attending University. I'm sure she'll love watching him create the extremely expressive art he's known for painting (and her little colourful handprints all over the canvases will lend a care-free and innocent feel to your
work, right Loren?)

I am very pleased to see how happy, contented and calm they all seem and wish them the very best in their 2007 adventures. Félicitations sur tous vos nouveaux développements, et bonne chance!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Greetings from British Columbia

Happy New Years!!

Wow - so much has happened in the last two weeks I hardly know where to start. Here's my attempt:

  1. I moved home from the UK
  2. I arrived in snowy Edmonton on the eve of Christ's birthday
  3. I celebrated Christmas with my family for the first time since 2003. What a wonderful treat (Pictures should be accompanying this post but they're stuck on a defective memory card. Grr!)
  4. I celebrated New Years in Kelowna with Nicholas and his parents. It was such a warm, homey affair full of great meals, fantastic company and outstanding ski conditions.
  5. I then headed to Invermere, B.C to hang out with Jay and Christine
  6. And now I'm moving to Toronto!

Here are a few pictures that Nicholas' father took on the last day of the year from atop Big White mountain. It was a Seriously Fabulous Day.