Dancing about architecture

There’s this movie from the 90’s called Playing by Heart (which I had on tape, by the way). My favourite line in the movie is “Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.” It makes no sense to dance about architecture, so why would talking about love make any sense?

I’ve decided this applies to yoga as well. I can try to talk and write about it, but I feel my yoga, I live it.

However, this weekend, I had to at least try to talk about it. I’m very, very excited about the yoga teacher training program I signed up for, but it’s pretty costly. The teachers organizing this training have given us a challenge: Make a video, post it on youtube, and the person with the most views by May 31st wins 1500$ towards the cost of the tuition.

Winning this money would definitely be a big help, so even though the thought of filming myself sent me into panic mode, I did it. I filmed myself talking, then a friend filmed me doing some yoga poses at Pure yoga, the most awesome of all yoga studios (thanks for letting me film at your studio Jen and Amber!)

Today, I put it all together with some music and it came out awesomely amazing, if I do say so myself! It’s still weird to see myself on video, and it’s a little choppy, going from one scene to the next, but I had so much fun doing this! It really made me step outside my comfort zone, and we all know that’s where the magic happens!

As a blogger, it’s always interesting for me to see someone’s video, because then I can put a voice to a person’s face. I hope you feel like you get to know me a little better by watching this.

Every click counts as a view, so if you have a minute to spare after you’ve watched it, you can click a few more times. It would help a lot! You don’t even have to watch the whole thing for it to count.

Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FymAS1je9o0&feature=youtu.be

Please click often and share with all your friends, even with people who aren’t your friends!

The Red Garden

Sometimes, a book is just a book. Sometimes, a book is an adventure, an escape, a dream, an other world. Rarely is one book all of these things. So when, a few pages into a book, you realize it’s going to be one of those books, the magical kind that keeps you from sleeping because you just have to read more, you do a little happy dance and sometimes let out a squeal of joy.

The Red Garden is one of those books.

Written by Alice Hoffman, it’s no surprise that it’s a fantastic read.

I had a little moment of doubt when I first started reading. The story starts off with Hallie Brady, a young woman who comes to America and becomes the founder of a new town in the wilderness of Massachusetts. I was so into her story, but after a few pages, it was over. The next chapter was the story of a sad young woman and a man who plants apple trees. Then, a little girl who goes missing.

Soon, I realized that the book was not a person’s story, as a novel usually is. It’s the story of a place. The place is Bearsville, later renamed Blackwell. People come and go, love and cry, hope and dream, live and die. The town grows and some of the earlier stories become legend. Every person leaves their mark on the town, and shapes into a place where magic happens.

Through the stories, we meet an interesting cast of character, including Emily Dickinson and Johnny Appleseed. Some stories are happier than others. There’s a man who’s going blind, but is more of an adventurer than anyone the town has seen since Hallie Brady. There’s the young man who comes home from war broken, only to have his soul healed by a young widow. There’s a young woman who meets a man who lives in the woods, and it changes her forever. My favourite was the fisherman’s wife. Sad, lonely and beautiful, she longs to go back home to be with her one true love. Her home isn’t where you expect it to be.

One of the things I loved the most was how, when a story ended, you might not know what happend to the people later on, but tidbits about their lives would come up in the next chapters, where they were now the current character’s ancestors.

I also love that there is an actual red garden. People don’t know why the earth is red, but you, the reader, know. It like knowing a secret. It feels like being a part of something special, because you’ve been there since the begining.

I finished this book over a week ago, but I haven’t been able to read anything else yet. The collection of episodes, like pieces of a puzzle, are still floating around in my head. I need to read it again, to make even more connections between the people and their stories.

The-Red-Garden-1771321

Today is Alice Hoffman’s birthday, and two very awesome bloggers have put together a bloghop where all of her fans could share their love for her enchanting storytelling. Happy birthday, Alice Hoffman, and thank you for sharing your magic!

I’ve written post about Alice Hoffman’s books before, because she’s just so amazing! Check it out here , here, here and here!

I need more books!

I do. It’s true. I’m actually not reading a book right now! How crazy is that? I finished my last book on Saturday and I haven’t started another one yet. I have plenty to read, I’m just not feeling inspired. So, you see, I need more books.

This week, the Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is the top ten authors I would put on my auto-buy list. Are there ten authors whose books I run out and buy as soon as they are published? Absolutely!

1. Alice Hoffman

I’ve mentionned her before. From magic to history to mystery, her books are a mix of everything I love!

2. Sarah Addison Allen

I wish I wrote like her.  There’s magic, love and hope in each book. I can’t get enough. I reread these on a regular basis. A new one is coming out this year, yay!

3. Siobhan Bantwal

Little glimpses of India and Indian culture, both of which fascinate me. Even if one day, I make it to India, I won’t be in people’s lives. Reading these books makes you feel like you know the characters.

4. Gil McNeil

Small town mums raising crazy kids, usually on their own. There’s a familiarity to her books that I enjoy, with enough twists and surprises to keep things interesting!

5. Sophie Kinsella

What’s not to love? It’s awesome reading about someone who’s spending habits are so much worse than mine! Makes me feel better about buying a new dress now and then. Also, my sister’s name is Sophie. I don’t know why this matters, but it does.

6. Tracey Garvis Graves

Ok, so she’s only written one book so far, but I loved it so much, I am anxiously waiting for her next one. I read they were making On the Island into a movie. I can’t wait to see it and say “The book was better.”

7. Charlaine Harris

I started reading these when about 10 of them had already been published. I’m so glad I did! Waiting for a new one to come out once a year is almost painful. Now that there’s a tv show, I can totally hear the character’s voices in my head when I read. I especially love it when Bill says “Sookie“.

8. Kaya McLaren

This is an author I discovered a couple of months ago. I read How I Came to Sparkle Again and I loved it! I totally judge books by their cover and also their names and this one just screamed out Me! Me! Pick me! Read me, I’m fabulous. And it was. I thought this was her only book, but I’ve just found out there’s more. Yay!

9. Catherine Mackenzie

I read her three books, Arranged, Forgotten and Spin. Of the three, Arranged was my favourite. It’s about a girl who signs up for what she thinks is a dating service, but is actually an arranged marriage service! It’s hilarious. Also, the author is Canadian!

10. Jennifer Cruisie

Every time I go to the bookstore, I check to see if she has a new book. I know I could do this online, but nothing beats discovering that an author you love has a new book, and actually buying, at that very moment! If I look online, I’ll have to wait.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the first ten I thought of, in no particular order. Who are some of your favourite authors?

IMG_0170

Don’t lose your Christmas spirit!

When I was a little girl, I was always sad when Christmas was over. I waited so long for it, and after a quick blur of hugs, laughter, presents, Santa, cookies and family, it was gone. I knew I would have to wait very long for it to be Christmas again.

Now that I’m an adult, I know it won’t be long until Christmas comes again, because time seems to speed up the older you get, but it still makes me sad that it’s over. People are nicer around the holidays and I miss that when the world goes back to normal. To help people be happy, smiley and nice to each other, I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to hold on to your Chirstmas spirit for a whole year!

1. Play

We play during the holidays, so why not play all year? Play whatever you want. Play a board game or play with your Barbies (you know you want to). Build a fort or go on a scavenger hunt. In my family, we play cards. The day after Christmas, we play poker. I dont usually win (ok, never), but that’s not the point. It’s fun! This year I made it to the final six (out of 13). Yay me!

005

2. Sing

People who say they never sing can be heard singing Christmas carols if you listen closely enough. They smile while they’re doing it. If you recognize yourself here, then this message is for you: Sing!

3. Eat

At Christmas time, we let ourselves eat what we want to without feeling guilty. What if we did that all year? Now I’m not saying go nuts on the brownies or the french fries every day, but if you have a cupcake, eat it, enjoy it, then forget about it. That is all.

013

4. Be nice

Being nice to people is not just biting your tongue when someone who got a really bad haircut asks for your opinion. We give to those in need around Christmas, but they need us to be nice all year round, too. We can’t give to everyone, all the time, but sometimes, we can give time, patience and love without it costing us anything at all.

5. Get excited

I love Christmas as much for the time spent with family and friends as for the days leading up to it. Baking, finding gifts for people I love, decorating, all this makes me happy. It’s good to get excited, to look forward to something we know will bring us joy. I’m still enjoying Christmas time, but I’m also looking forward to going snowboarding!

6. Love

We all have people we love, and we love being with them, but sometimes life gets in the way of us remembering how important that is. Spending time with loved ones is not just a Christmas thing, it’s a guaranteed-to-make-you-happy thing.

011

7. Read

Maybe this one isn’t a Christmas thing, but more of a time-off thing, but curling up with a good book and forgetting the world for a couple of hours is magical. Bonus points if there is a snowstorm or a thunderstorm. When you finally tear yourself away from your book, you feel as if you’ve been on an incredible adventure. Unless your book is boring. Find a new book.

8. Watch TV

This is like the reading thing and the eating thing. It’s like reading because it’s not necessarily a Christmas thing, but if you have time, I recommend you watch several hours of television without feeling guilty (like the food thing). My mom and I spent a good amout of time (ok, 439 minutes) watching The Pillars of the Earth mini-series yesterday. Last year, it was The Thorn Birds. I don’t think it’s a good idea to this every week or anything, as you might lose all your friends, maybe your job and probably your dog, but once in a while, go for it. Enjoy it. Then go for a walk, you’ll need it!

9. Sleep

Ahh, sleep. For most of us, functioning on very little sleep is like wearing a badge of honnor. It might not be possible to sleep as much as you like, but we tend to indulge ourselves and sleep in during the Christmas holidays. Do this as often as you can. Well rested-people are 38% happier than other people (yes, I made that up, but it sounds good.)

10. See the magic

If you’re lucky enough to have children in your life, you get to see Christmas through their eyes. It’s magical. Santa might only come once a year, but kids are amazed daily. Imagine if seeing a butterfly take flight or finding the perfect snowflake still brought you the same joy it once did. You might have to find new ways to see the magic, but it’s there, if you look hard enough.

015

Garden Spells

My mom grew up on a farm. No one “farms” it now, but she and her brothers and sisters still own the land. My mom and my aunts plant a huge garden every year. It’s enormous! They plant the regular stuff like carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers and also more interesting things like asparagus, beets, chard and parsnips. I use the word interesting here instead of saying “things I won’t eat”. They also have huge patches of pumpkins, squash and melons.

On Saturday, my mom and I went over to the farm to check on the garden. Groundhogs eat some of the vegetables and deer really like the melons. Last year, one of them ate a few bites out of almost all the melons. Not the brightest crayon in the box.

It’s still a baby garden, meaning not much is ready yet. The beets are ready. Interesting. The potatoes are also ready. Score! I got some to bring home. I even helped to weed, although most of it had been done already. The garden is bigger than it looks in the pictures. I couldn’t get it all in.

My aunt was there with her granddaughter and we had fun chilling on the tractor. She kept trying to turn the key. That little girl knows what she’s doing!

The title for this post was inspired by one of my favourite books by Sarah Addison Allen. It’s about family, love, magic and a tree that throws apples at people. You really should read it!