September 2009

Life27 Sep 2009 09:42 pm

I have run off and on since the middle of high school though most of the time I wasn’t running regularly. I’ve trained for the 10k Sunrun a few times but have never had the motivation I have now. On Thanksgiving I will be running a half marathon. I have had great friends to run with, a supportive husband and some amazing stories to reflect on.

As the distance progressively became longer, I picked up some great running gear to use along the way. I knew good shoes were important but before long, I ditched my board shorts for running pants as well as picked up some great water bottles to run with.
I thought running was a simple activity to outfit but I was greatly surprised. In addition to shoes, pants and water bottles, there are special socks, hats, undergarments, shirts, heart monitors, pace watches, energy gels, drinks and creams. I am not that hard core to have all the gear but I have everything I need to run a half marathon.

Though running is a very physical activity, there also is a mental aspect as well. I have pounded miles and miles of asphalt in preparation while reflecting on some of the amazing achievements of others in order to inspire me to keep putting one foot in front of the other at a decent pace.

Terry Fox is one of those amazing, inspirational people. Today people from coast to coast across our country will be running raising funds for cancer in memory of Terry Fox. Though I participated throughout elementary school, I never have understood the magnitude of what he did. At the age of twenty one, he had put into motion his vision of running across Canada to raise funds for cancer research. He had lost his leg to cancer two and a half years prior and was experiencing difficulties from a heart condition but that couldn’t stop his dream.

For one hundred and forty three days, Terry Fox ran a marathon every day facing many daily challenges with an unstoppable determination. Only halfway through his journey to the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic, the cancer had come back ferociously in his lungs and Terry was forced to stop his marathon of hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I would find running twenty six miles a challenge any day without any medical conditions and Terry kept up that pace for months on end with a heart condition as an amputee. As I go for my last and longest run today before my half marathon, I am sure I will reflect on his amazing life and even greater legacy.


Life26 Sep 2009 10:09 am

We really should go to the beach more often as we live so close and it is so beautiful.
I love watching Leah and her Daddy interact.
There is something amazing and special about a father-daughter relationship.
Holding on to the fence at the end of the pier gazing out at the ocean.
Trying to see the water and sand through the cracks.

Wonderful family in beautiful surroundings makes for a great night to remember.

Life23 Sep 2009 12:09 pm

The other day while I was reading a mommy blog post about making your own organic food economically, I was inspired to try make our own yogurt. I’ve watched Morgan make yogurt before when we were dating but as it can be quite time consuming, he never kept it up. I figured now that I am at home for most of the day and can fit it in the prep time during nap times and take a few seconds out of every hour to check the temperature, I might as well try. After gathering tips and comparing methods on the internet, I chose the easiest route and went to work.

Though it takes a lot of time, it is not a lot of work. After the initial steps of boiling the milk and getting everything ready, I only checked the temperature every half hour and only had to adjust it every hour. The whole process is quite simple involving just a few steps.

First, you bring milk to almost a boil before letting it cool and adding a few tablespoons of plain yogurt. Then you need to make sure the temperature stays pretty steady around one hundred ten degrees Fahrenheit for several hours as the milk thickens into yogurt. Once it is ready, you can add anything you want to the yogurt all at once. It is pretty sour plain so I added some maple syrup and jam as per many yogurt maker’s suggestions.


Here is the yogurt all done with the jam and syrup added ready to be put into containers before being refrigerated. The crock pot worked great keeping the temperature steady and heating slowly and evenly when necessary. Every hour or so I plugged it in for a little while to raise the temperature ten to fifteen degrees before leaving it be.

Leah has been enjoying the yogurt while I enjoy the fact she is getting important nutrients she is missing out on by refusing to drink milk. I have also been adding mashed bananas and applesauce for extra nutrition for Leah as well. This batch has turned out great so yogurt making will probably now be seen on a regular basis in my kitchen.

Life22 Sep 2009 04:01 pm

Morgan, Leah and I were heading out to celebrate a friend’s birthday the other night and I had a card but wanted to add a little something more. We didn’t have time to stop anywhere as we were already running a little behind so I thought about making a little bouquet of flowers. If we were to stop anywhere, that is what I would have picked up anyways.
I can’t take much credit at all for the funky creation as almost all of the stems were already in the garden before we arrived.
All in a glass jam jar for that extra special touch.

Life14 Sep 2009 03:34 pm

When we first saw our house, one of the big features that we loved was the yard. It was obvious that someone put a lot of time and heart into the garden but it had been let go for a few years. The garden follows the fence line in the back yard in addition to two islands but all you see was all of the overgrowth of plants and weeds alike.
The garden looked better instantly once you could see some of the soil. I was amazed at the bulbs that come up though they seemed to be overtaken by weeds. Here is an after shot.
Seeing the tremendous difference happen before my eyes is very satisfying work and I am looking forward to adding my own personal touches to the great fundamentals previous owners have built their garden around.

As I have been working on the garden, I have thought about all the parallels. Digging out weeds and trying to remove all of the roots in order to bring beauty is not an easy chore in the garden or in life. But that beauty is so worth it.

Life12 Sep 2009 09:52 am

Diapers changed. Sippy cups filled. Snacks packed. Camera in hand. Sunscreen slathered. Hats adorned. Socks on. Shoes velcroed. Doors locked. Hands held. Gate opened. Wagon found. Seatbelts buckled. Let’s go!
Waddling ducks. Fingers pointed. Loud Quacks.
Delighted squeals. Running feet. Hands exploring.
Calling over. Remember when. Bark mulch fun.
Exchanging ideas. Plans made. Memories formed.
Good times. Laughter shared. Great friends.
Action packed. Fun abounds. Cute bottoms.
Ride home. Making up games. Ducking heads. More laughter. Silly girls.

Life11 Sep 2009 09:49 pm

After devoting lots of time to unpacking and cleaning the inside of our house, we have decided to start tackling the great outdoors. Though the inside work is nowhere near completed, summer weather is running out and it feels great to be outside before rainy season comes with full force. Also, I find it much more fulfilling seeing the progress in the garden than doing indoor household chores.

As our weekends have been super busy, we have started spending a bit of time outside in the evenings when we get the chance. Last night while Morgan pulled out a big vine that was crawling up the house and taking over portions of our front garden, I went to work on pulling out all the overgrowth from another area. Leah was playing around on the front lawn close to the road which was making me nervous so I started pulling out weeds in the lawn so I could be close to where she was.

When Leah saw the big pile of weeds that I was pulling out, she decided to help. She has seen me place weeds in buckets and yard waste garbage cans numerous times over and over again so she knew what to do. Grabbing one weed at a time, she walked with purpose down the driveway to the garbage can, dumping the weed in before coming back for another, all in her lilac dress.


Her great grandfather would have been mighty proud, just as he was when he worked in his large, beautiful garden alongside his eager grandchildren watching and asking, “Opa, is this a weed? How about this one?”

Life10 Sep 2009 03:25 pm

As children all over the country are back in school, Leah and I are getting back into the routine of having a friend at our house during the day. We have had tons of play dates during the summer but now we are looking after friends while their parents are working. I have looked after this little sweet pea for six weeks during part of May and June, three days a week and now she is coming four days a week.
Though it has been a great summer, we missed seeing her sweet face so often. Now Leah has her buddy back again to share all of life’s great experiences with.

We have now welcomed some boys into the mix on Monday who are sharing the day. It will be interesting to have a couple of boys in contrast to the girls. I know each child is born with their own personality but there is debate around the differences between boys and girls that goes beyond just personalities. Though this by no means is scientific in the slightest, I will still enjoy seeking out my own opinion as well as getting to know these kid’s personalities.

Each child is so unique and it is a true delight once you figure out all of their “ins” and “outs”. It takes awhile but is so rewarding being able to know what makes them laugh and cry, when they are ready for more stimulation or for a rest and when they are comfortable in your presence. I hope every child who enters our home feels known, welcomed and loved in addition to the basics of being cared for.

Life09 Sep 2009 10:26 am

This little, sweet, adorable, precious girl has been slowly asserting more independence every day. Although this whole growing up thing has been in progress every since she existed, it hit me in a whole new way this week when Leah said no to me for the first time this week. Mentally I know this is a good, healthy sign and knew this was obviously going to come but emotionally I don’t think I feel the same way. I would rather she not shake her head and say no and instead eat her fruit and veggies without a fuss. I would love it if she shared her toys willingly with her friends and play independently when it comes time to make dinner.
Her independence also can be very helpful as well. Most of the time Leah loves to feed herself and refuses to be fed by anybody else which works well for me. When it is time to go outside, Leah loves to sit on the step for me to help her put her shoes and socks on. She understands the basic concepts of getting ready and sometimes tries to do it herself with little success. Still, I love it when she tries. Even though she can’t do it on her own, she helps me out by listening to my basic instructions such as “time to sit down” and “lift up your feet”.
When we go to the park, Leah will run to whatever piece of equipment she would like to use and raise her hands if she needs help to get on it. She still loves to go on the swings but also enjoys slides, teeter-totters and springy vehicles.

My favourite thing Leah has learned recently is giving kisses. They are loud, slobbery and truly a mother’s delight and even given when requested. How sweet.

Life06 Sep 2009 09:55 pm

In the middle of August we went away for the weekend to Oroville with some friends and since the weather wasn’t stellar, we visited a ghost town. (And I apparently forgot to post about it.)
Morgan looked very comfortable in the town and I’m sure would have fared well in the town’s heyday though the closest thing to a computer we saw was a typewriter.
Leah looked pretty at home as well chilling out on the steps of this one room, 1908 homestead cabin.
Here he is on the nursery stock planter.
Leah checking out the cool wheelbarrow. She loves our wheelbarrow too though I am not totally sure what the draw is.
I love this picture with the moss and the funky wheels. I would love to see them design and create the intricacies that make a piece of equipment come together. (Please ignore the telephone wires in the background.)
Is it a train? Is it a car? No, it’s a funky tractor.
They seemed to have a machine or attachment for everything. This is Leah hanging out on the corn planter which would go behind the tractor.
Here she is having a party on the corn planter.

I was amazed by their machines and the amount of creativity and work to engineer them. A simple log cutter powered by a horse had a big saw welded on to a handle of a gear which was connected to another gear which in turn attached to a spool wound up with rope. This rope would have been attached to a horse and as the horse moved walked the saw would rigidly go up and down. I guess when you are putting excessive amounts of time into performing the same hard tasks over and over, you have time to think about time and energy saving measures.

There was also the original school house which has been made into a museum showcasing the town that was flourishing in the early 1900’s but almost faded away just as quickly as it’s rise to fame. The town’s welcome sign is changed with population fluctuations and is currently boasting thirty five hardy residents.

Here is a classroom set up just like it would have been in 1906.

Talking to a ninety year old lady that grew up in Molson and attended the original schoolhouse was a delight as these treasured stories will soon fade away with no one to carry their amazing history and legacy. She now currently resides just outside of Molson in a nursing home but commented on the return away from the busy life and the trend to come back to country. Whereas city life was once seen as exciting and luring, now people are longing for the tranquility and peace which once was seen as a bore.

Though I will continue on my canning, sewing, cloth diapering, laundry hanging, gardening days, I still am happy with our city and balance where we currently live. I am definitely nowhere near as hardcore as those women and families back then and enjoy the conveniences we have today, I love learning their deep history and think we can learn many, many things from the way they lived and values they held dear.

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