Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgivings. I have so much to be thankful for.

On Friday, I went to Montreal for a work conference. It was so-so, not worth getting up at 5 am. However, afterwards, six of us went shopping. We had a blast trying on clothes, finding things for each other, driving two hours there and back. We sang, laughed and acted like a bunch of little girls. I love days like this, be it with my work friends, my yoga friends, my forever friends or my new friends. I am thankful for my friends.

On Saturday, I went to a yoga class that was much too difficult for me, because of my ever-present glute injury and very low energy level. However, just before class started, the teacher asked us to think of three things that we were thankful for. The first thing that came to mind, no doubt because I was on my mat, was my ability to practice yoga. I may be temporarily injured, but I am still strong, healthy and free to practice whenever I want to. I am thankful for yoga.

In my family, we celebrate Thanksgivings on Sunday instead of Monday. It’s all about being together, enjoying each other’s company. In the middle of nowhere. That’s right. We celebrate Thanksgivings in a cabin in the woods with no electricty or running water. About 60 of us cram ourselves inside the small cabin, spilling out onto the porch and under a tent, to be thankful we are a family. This is not some weird Canadian thing. I don’t know any other family that does this. This is just us. I am thankful for my family.

This is the middle of nowhere.

This is the middle of nowhere.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I love fall.

I love fall.

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Yoga with Elizabteh, one of my most favourite people ever.

Yoga with Elizabeth, one of my most favourite people ever.

The frog is like this.

The frog is like this.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

So much to be thankful for. I am one very blessed girl. What are you thankful for?

Apple picking

On Sunday, I went apple picking! I love fall, and I’m one of those people who has a list of awesome fall activities that I just have to do so my season feels complete. Apple picking is definitely at the top of the list.I’m a picky eater and I don’t like a lot of fruit. I eat a lot, but of the same kind. It’s usually more about texture than taste. I do love apples and eat them all the time. If I don’t have any, I feel an urge to run to the store. These sudden I-need-an-apple attacks can happen at any moment. Luckily, I now have a million apples, so I’m good for a couple of weeks. Maybe.

I went to an apple orchard that was about an hour and a half away with some friends. I was wondering why we were going so far, when there are orchards much closer to home, but when we got there, I figured it out. It was beautiful. I think it’s probably hard to find an ugly apple orchard, but still, it was lovely.

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This baby is trying to steal my apples!

This baby is trying to steal my apples!

I tried to take a nice picture with my friend Adèle, but it took a while.

Something was really funny. I can't remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

Something was really funny. I can’t remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

It's still funny.

It’s still funny.

It's really hard to take a bad picture when you're surrounded by apples.

It’s really hard to take a bad picture when you’re surrounded by apples.

Me being me, I decided what this apple picking expedition need was some yoga poses.

We're apple trees. Get it?!

We’re apple trees. Get it?!

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

Note: This is not the half-moon pose that injured my butt. This is it’s much gentler, nicer, no butt-muscle pulling twin.

After the apples, we decided we hadn’t had enough of fall (is that even possible?) so we headed out to pick some pumpkins and squash.

These are called ghost pumkins or ghost greys or something spooky like that.

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The baby's not afraid of them, I guess they're ok.

The baby’s not afraid of them, I guess they’re ok.

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Too big!

Too big!

Too small!

Too small!

Just right!

Just right!

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don't like. I don't like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don’t like. I don’t like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Pretty sunflowers.

Pretty sunflowers.

They're even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

They’re even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

After all the squash fun, we went to an Abbey where I bought honey, caramel and chocolate. Not a bad day for sweet things.

I now have many, many apples that I have slowly started to turn into delicious apple amazingness. There is more to come, including apple pie, apple sauce, apple juice, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple cookies, apple cake, apple bread, apple butter and apple turnovers. Did I forget anything?

Wildlife Adventure

A few weeks ago, my friend Adèle told me she had a something special planned for my birthday, which is next week. She told me to pick a day, but she wouldn’t tell me what we were going to do. I picked today. Last week, she told me that I needed a few things for our special day. This is the list she sent me:

– camera

– notepad

– running shoes

– skates

– bathing suit

If you’re thinking what the…? I know. So was I. I tried to think of what activity could require these items. Someone suggested maybe a scavenger hunt. I thought maybe some kind of rallye. Then I began to wonder if I really would need these items, or if it was just to throw me off track.

I showed up at my friend’s house today, not knowing what to expect. A few other friends were there too. My friend Lyli told me to close my eyes, and she would give me a clue. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands in which she placed… a bag of carrots! Wait, what? Then Adèle asked me where I could possibly use a bag of carrots. Was there any place I had been dreaming of going to for years that would require carrots?

This is the point where I jumped up and down squeeling “Parc Oméga!” Parc Oméga is a wildlife park where you can drive around and feed the animals. They only have Canadian animals and I had been trying to get my friends together all summer to go with me, but it never worked out. Also, I was right about the list being designed to throw me off, all I needed was my camera. And the carrots, of course.

Four of us headed out with lots of energy, music and carrots. The park is about an hour outside the city and when we got there, the first animals we saw were elk. They were very greedy and kept sticking their head in the car to get more carrots. My friend Claudine kept yelling “Roll up your window!” while I mostly just made very high-pitched sounds.

We also saw wild boar. I threw some pieces of carrots on the ground for them, but I didn’t really want them eating out of my hand.

We were told not to feed the males, because it’s mating season and they are quite aggressive, but this little guy did not seem very aggressive. He still had his Bambi spots! He got a carrot.

This guy, however, looked a little less innocent. He was chasing the females and stomping his feet and being all manly. He didn’t get any carrots.

How could you say no to this face?

We saw some Arctic foxes, but we couldn’t feed them. They looked like fluff balls, but somehow I doubt they would have let me pet them.

The caribou didn’t come anywhere near us. I think maybe it’s because we didn’t bring any lichen.

One of the rules is “Don’t get out of your car” except when you get to some of the walking areas. I find it quite strange that we were told not to feed the males from the safety of our car, but we could walk around with them. It looked like they were playing tag, but I’m guessing that wasn’t it.

I tried to feed this little guy, but he was skittish and wouldn’t come close enough.

I pretended to feed Adèle the carrot, so he would know what to do with it, and he was all “Dude, that’s my carrot.”

Even after all that, he still wouldn’t eat it, so I found another deer who wanted a snack. They chew with their mouth open. How rude.

We were freezing so we got back in the car and saw some bison. This one was scratching his butt, which, compared to the rest of him, is quite tiny.

These two were very impressive, and they knew it. I think they practice posing at night, telling each other how strong and beautiful they look.

This one was so adorable, he got the last of the carrots. We wanted to break the “don’t get out of the car” rule and pet him, but we restrained ourselves.

This one heard from his elk friends that we had carrots, and he wanted some. Sadly, we were all out.

We also saw wolves. Two of them were playing, when another one came and messed up their game. One of them left, then the others followed him and sat on his head. True story.

We saw coyotes, baby boar and a moose. We stayed until it was too dark to see anything else, then we came home. Such a perfect day! Much better than what I was imagining when I saw the list, which included skating in my swimsuit and taking pictures while running. This was much better! I am very lucky to have such great friends! xxx

Friday Night Lights, a.k.a. Don’t talk to me, I’m busy.

Last winter, I discovered I had a passion for football. Ok, maybe not for football, but for Friday Night Lights, and the show’s about football, so it’s kind of the same thing. I got really into it. All the drama, cheering on the Panthers, rooting for Tyra and Landry, who have a Ross and Rachel thing going on. I have a crush on Tim, I admit it.  I got so into it, actually, that I had to cut myself off. I was halfway through season 3 when I just stopped watching, because I wasn’t doing anything else. I’m exaggerating of course. I still went to work and stuff, I just could not watch only one episode. I had to know what happened. These were like real people!

Sometimes, I would think about my friends from Dillon, Texas, and wonder how they were doing. I would be tempted to watch just one episode to catch up on their oh, so exciting lives. But, I didn’t do it. I have no self control. It was never going to be just one episode, and we all knew it (my Texas friends and I).

It’s been really hot and sunny all summer, so I have spent as much time as possible outside. Then, last week, it started to rain. Friday afternoon (how appropriate) I caved in and dusted off my season 3 dvds. I then proceded to watch the remaing episodes all weekend. I realized I had been waiting for a rainy day to completely flake out and watch tv. I missed my friends and it was great getting to know them again. Specially Tim. Bliss.

I have done this before with other tv shows. I love watching a show when it’s on dvd, because then I don’t have to wait to see what happens. Here are a few of the shows I’ve been addicted to.

Lost

Season 1 was amazing! I was a few years behind and everyone had already seen it, so I tried to get people to give me information about what was going on. I would pester them with questions like “What’s up with the polar bears?” “What’s that spooky black stuff floating around?” “Why does everyone call Matthew Fox  Jack? His name should be Charlie, like in Party of Five.” Season 2 was not as great, but still good. Then, I kind of lost interest during season 3 and never watched the rest.

One tree Hill

I also have a passion for basketball, imagine that. I didn’t think I would like this show, as I thought it was all about teenage drama and unrealistic situations. It was, but I loved it! I was pretty sad when it ended. I actually have cousins, who are brothers, named Nathan and Lukas. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the town we grew up in is not like Tree Hill. By the way, if someone could tell me what was up with Lucas’ hair in season 9, that would be very helpful.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I can’t express my love for Buffy in words. I want to be Buffy when I grow up. This has to be the best-written show I have ever watched. It’s everything a tv show should be, plus it has vampires. Buffy and Angel made vampires cool long before Twilight came along.

I could go on here, naming other obsessions of mine (Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Friends and Sex and the City, to name a few) but I don’t want you to think that all I do is watch tv. Also, I really want to watch another episode of Friday Night Lights, because I went out and got season 4 and I think something is up with Julie and Matt.

Long weekend bliss

In Canada, it’s a long weekend. My friend Julie is getting married in the summer and she asked me to go with her and her bridesmaids to Montreal to look for dresses. Montreal is only two hours away, and it’s a great city, so I said yes! The only thing is that I’m still doing a no-spending challenge, so shopping was out for me. I decided to go easy on myself and spend on restaurants and stuff, otherwise I might as well have stayed home!

The drive there was great. It was nice and sunny, we had lots to talk about and it went by really fast. The first place we went to was a dress warehouse kind of place. I thought this might be my first challenge, but nothing really caught my eye, so it was all good.

Then we went to a grocery store called Adonis to get some food for lunch. That place was crazy! There were so many people and everyone was just pushing around. I felt like I was in another country all together. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, but we did get some great food. We went to one of Julie’s friend’s place in the city, where we would be staying, to have lunch.

After that, we took the subway downtown for more shopping. Again, not as difficult as I had imagined to control myself. We also took the opportunity to take yoga poses in random places.

Subway warrior.

Funky lamp-shop yoga pose. Be careful where you put those feet. You break it, you buy it.

Not a yoga pose, but a really great picture, also in the funky shop.

We walked around, drank iced drinks, people watched in cafés and enjoyed being away from home. There are no thoughts of all the things you have to do when you get home when you’re not actually going home. We went back to our home base and ate a wonderful meal. Thankfully, we got enough food at the crazy grocery store earlier, so we didn’t have to go back.

After dinner, we felt really stuffed, so we went for a walk and saw the sunset on Laval, the city across the river. We also had chocolate cookies.

Some of the girls hung out by the water a little longer, but Steph and I had discovered a tree that really needed climbing. Did you know it’s quite possible to climb a tree even while wearing white pants? So much fun too.

Tree pose in a tree.

Sloth pose. I highly recommend it.

The other girls joined us and we had a little tree party.

The next day, we went shopping some more. We found the bridesmaids dresses easily enough. In the same boutique, however, I saw it. The perfect dress. The one that had my name written on it. Up until that point, it hadn’t been too difficult not to shop, but this took all the willpower I had. I didn’t buy the dress, which I am very proud of, but after that, I’d had enough shopping.

Three of the girls wanted to keep shopping, but in different parts of the city. One girl wanted to visit a museum and I wanted to do anything that was free. We decided to split up for the afternoon and meet up later. I had a wonderful time walking along the old port and having a beer while listening to street performers.

By the time we all met up, we were tired, sweaty and happy. We were all ready to be heading home. We stopped along the way for some ice cream, but they were out, so that was disappointing, but we did have time for some truck stop yoga.

The trip ended with a Mamma Mia sing along in the car. Good food, good friends, good times and a surprising burst of willpower. Bliss.