Friday, January 13, 2012


So I've spent the first two weeks of the New Year following a generalized routine: 4 days of work. First day off - do laundry. 2nd day- letter writing day, and go skating. 3rd day - skating and knitting. 4th day off- yoga class. 5th day off - go to a dance class. Not particularly strenuous, but it's been nice to have things to focus on and look forward to each day I have off. Plus, I'm given the opportunity to feel productive for having completed something (albeit little!)

This week has gone well, especially with the addition of three social calls! I met one very pregnant friend for brunch on day one, am visiting old friends for supper tonight (read on for more about that!) and Mike and I are attending an afternoon/supper all dolled up and british themed! There's also a potluck supper at a friend's home on Monday, but technically that's next week...

I really quite liked skating this week. I went early (around 9:15am) to get on the ice with enough time to loosen up and get used to skating again before the school groups arrive (around 10:15). The rink's relatively quiet with only 5 or 6 of us there, and 4 of them are "regulars" I think. All friendly! It's been nice. Plus, after only 5 attempts at skating this year (and after a very long hiatus) I'm able to do crossovers going forward in both directions, and I can do crossovers going backwards in one direction, but only after a good warm-up. I think I'm well on my way to my goal to a) not sucking b)not being sore c) enjoying myself when we go to Ottawa in February! I really just want to have a good time when we skate the Rideau, rather than focus on all the reasons why I'd be uncomfortable...

Time to prep for supper...I'll finish this post later, friends!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December 2011

Of course, it's time for the December recap!

December whizzed by at lightning speed. I went to Christmas parties and set up the decorations and knit (furiously). The pictures of most of December are on a memory card which is currently hiding on me, but I can tell you they were generally memorable. I knit a lovely "Sharf" for my aunt (it's not quite a shawl, and not quite a scarf), complete with a shawl pin I picked up a Granville island, and knit a pair of red woolen socks from Michael on the sly.

Dec 18th was the Great White North Christmas Party at our home. We had a fair turnout, and I believe that everyone had a pretty good time! I was especially proud of my gingerbread house, nanaimo bars, and intricately decorated Gingerbread cookies (Grandma's recipe, of course)

On my last day of work, I brought my alter ego "Bangles" wor work. Without sounding like a mental patient myself, I'll explain that bangles is the character I played while volunteering for the Kamloops Heritage Railway, and while I worked at Santaland at the Mall for a few years. She doesn't get to come out often, so I thought the kids at work might find her a treat! I (as bangles) visited the Mental Health units where I work, but it turned out to be a bad day to forget my ID tag because the rest of the units stonewalled my from visiting any other children (it's hard to recover when the nurse you first meet on the medical floor doesn't know you called ahead to ask if you can visit, and looks at you as though you're insane when you introduce yourself as an elf.... but that's another story - a Scooge-like story at a Children's hospital, if you ask me. Though I'm quite sure I made one little boy's day in passing!). So, after visiting with the kids, Bangles decided to mess around with the nursing staff....
Bangles in her glory! There's also a string of battery powered Christmas lights around her neck!

Bangles tries her hand at signing into the Pyxis machine in the nursing station - it's the machine that dispenses the narcotics...

Success! Drawer opens!

Sneaky Bangles! Putting candy canes into the Pyxis!

Caught, peppermint-handed. Doc's weren't happy, so she got pinked (involuntarily committed to the hospital)! oops!

I worked right up until the skin of Christmas, and Michael and I drove to Kamloops on the 23rd to spend some time with our fams. While it was great to see them all, I'll admit that it felt a bit rushed spitting our time between two very welcoming families. But, here are a few of the best photos (of the ones I have - I'll find that other memory card soon...):

family coffee/brunch on day of return to vancouver

Mitten project for the drive to/from Kamloops

nighttime skating on Python Lake behind the McBurnie homestead

We returned the next day to play on the ice in the daytime!
We returned to Kamloops in time for me to head back to work for a few days, but as you will read soon, I got off in time for New Year's Eve Adventures!

Anticipation 2012

Rather than make New Year's Resolutions, I've had fun filling in my daytimer for 2012. Really - it was fun! Why? Well, it made me realize how many great things I have to look forward to this year. I like planning things, and so knowing that I have fun things to adventurize and plan for gives me a great boost.

Like what?


January: Skating at the Robson Square ice rink on each of the 2nd and 3rd days off I have every set. Dine out Vancouver starts Jan 20th! Going to Yoga and dance classes. The Golden gloves are Jan 15th! Continuing to write letters to my friends on the 2nd days off of my sets. Finishing Michael's wool mittens. Gearing up to the Oscars by watching lots and lots of (at this point, potentially) Oscar nominated films, since the nominations are announced Jan 23rd!
It's rainy in Vancouver, but it's winter in my heart when I skate here! 
 February: Travelling to Quebec for Carnivale d'Hiver, Montreal for fun, and Ottawa to visit family and skate on the Rideau canal (and going between them by train!) The prospect of having my first married Valentine's day in Montreal (trĂ©s romantique!), Mardi Gras (I'll be at work, but I plan on making pancakes for supper when I come home!), and a weekend trip to Banff to ski with my Albertan friends. Plus, of course, the oscars (even if I have to watch them when we come back from skiing!)
Ice castles and french people - and real poutine!!
March: Knowing that I have the day after St. Patrick's day off from work.

April: Coldplay live!

May: Turning 26 - half way through my twenties!

July: Trip to Cargary for the Stampede, and then potentially also hitting up Merritt Mountain Music Festival on the way back! Also, knowing that I have the entirety of the Canada Day long weekend OFF from work (yippee!)
yeehaw! Stampedin' we come!
 August: Getting to do that "One Night Only Walk On Role" in a local production of RENT that I won at a silent auction. Celebrating my first Wedding Anniversary with that guy I love. I've also been planning a fantasy vacation to Stratford for the week of the 21-26th. I figure I can get in to see 9 shows in 6 days! We'll see if it actually happens, but it's nice to dream!
Feels like home, here at the Festival Theatre. *sigh*
 September: this is theoretically the month where I'll start the wound care specialty course I've been musing about forever. But now I've actually submitted my application (with payment) and transcripts are in the mail! Go me! Yay September and higher learning!
I guess technically I don't have the whole year thought out, since I don't have anything for Oct/Nov/Dec yet. But maybe I can be thinking about this years' Hallowe'en costume...and Christmas again!

I also look forward to impromptu visits with friends, thinking about tea parties I can have (and tea parties I can go to), Summer concerts and festivals, theatre and....

Here's to 2012 - the year of living well. The year of living optimistically, and confidently, and happuily! Cheers!

Happy New 2012!

This January 1, we rang in the new year with friends and snow-frolicking! After an early departure from work (thanks to 4 unused hours of vacation spotted at the last minute!), Mike and I headed up to Grouse Mountain for night skiing. I'd never been up grouse before, so I was pumped! The gondola ride at dusk was a treat, and the ride down was even better because you could see all of Vancouver from the mountain side, and all lit up.

Unfortunately, the snow was junk. It was hard packed and icy, and not particularly pleasant for snowboarding on. We did manage to find one run tucked away where we could snowboard almost all on our own. There were snow-blowers going, too, so there was even some white stuff to swish around. We came home with bruised bums and sore arms, but happy to have gone on the adventure together.
Great views of the city, and not terribly cold - plusses!

Next up, we crashed a NYE party! To be fair, we gave them warning that we might be showing up, though. We had a great time ringing in the year with friends, and a number of pots and pans on their balcony!

Exhausted, I fell asleep on their couch - work+snowboading+up all night = extra sleepy!

New Years Day,t hough, presented its own set of fun activities. The highlight, of course, was officially becoming a Polar Bear! In the morning, I was still tuckered out, but that good husband of mine made sure we walked to English Bay by 2:30pm to suit up and swim out!
Just before the plunge - don't we look confident!

There were sharks in the water we had to watch out for!

Just after the swim - warm clothes and a cold celebratory brew! Smiles all 'round!

And a button for my toubles to prove my acceptance into the Polar Bear community!

After a rest and a long, hot shower, I pulled out the duck breasts I'd been saving for New Year's Dinner!
After the realization that we didn't have orange juice, I was faced with squeezing 1.5 cups of it out of baby clementines - by hand.

But the Duck a L'orange turned out superb! The sauce was a tad thick, but still tasted incredible!
 And that's how I rang in the New Year!