Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Earth Hour

We observed Earth Hour the other evening. With a few minutes to spare I scrambled around the house, lit some candles and powered down the computer, turned off all the lights as well as many other electrical devices in the house. The children loved it, the whole idea of the candles, trying to get ready for bed, it was fun for them. They asked lots of questions and relayed lots of ideas. They were intrigued that that was how Laura and Mary Ingalls had to live, how they had to get ready for bed by candle light. It was nice to see their references.

What we didn't cover, was that there were no street lights casting a glow on the Ingall's cottage, and if Mary and Laura needed to go the bathroom before bed, it was outside!!!! The whole idea of getting an email to remind you to shut off your lights for one hour for the earth is so far from Mary and Laura that it is almost absurd.

But I have to say in the stillness of that hour, when everyone was off to bed, it was heavenly. So quiet and the glow from candles is just so warming and wonderful. I was slow to turn any lights back on when the hour was over. (I did have a small book light that I used read a Real Simple magazine). I mean what would Caroline have done. Again, a magazine celebrating the simple living is completely absurd in terms of the Ingalls. Can you just imagine what Charles would have said if he came home to find Caroline reading a magazine by candlelight. I am sure there were things to be done, dresses to be mended, dishes to be washed.

That evening Sam and I discussed how great it was and how much the children enjoyed it and how it opened up many discussions about the environment and how to be good citizen of planet Earth. We thought we should do it more often.

The next morning I was informed that we were not using the computer or any other electronic devices for the whole day, so I couldn't blog. Now one hour of candle light was delightful, but a whole day without internet, blogging, etsy, email, or even solitaire on the iPod, that was a chore. I know, I know, Caroline could easily show me a thing or two about what a chore really is, but I am not Caroline and this is not the turn of the last century.

I feel we are really fortunate for the time we live in, we have the ability to choose, we can live simple or all plugged in. And I think the important thing is finding that balance. I survived sunday with no internet etc, and I really enjoyed it, so much so we are thinking about scaling back for the month of April. No TV/Movies for sure.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fight or Flight

In circumstances where I am faced with a fight or flight decision, I will usually take option C. Curl up in a ball. I am not competitive and I am most certainly not confrontational. But this spills over into other non-challenging areas of my life. For instance, if we were meant to meet for a workout and you are not able to make it, I too will likely skip. I will take the softer, cushier perhaps less bumpy road.

The other day I was looking forward to 3 hours with just myself and Piper. I had planned on going for a big walk, but the weather had gone sideways; snow and sun, snow and sun, on and off all day long. The fire was on, I was in comfy clothes and I really could just have made some tea and done some knitting. Then I remembered a lovely sunny day recently where a friend wanted to go for a walk and I was tired and would have been more than happy to sit in the sun and have a cup of tea, but we went for that walk and it was so lovely and all the children came with us and we had a great time. So, snowy weather be damned, I was going to go for a walk. I pack up Piper in buggy, put on her "bubble" (rain cover) and headed out. She was asleep with in just a few blocks. I kept going, my goal, the ocean, about 25 minutes away. I could have turned back, put her in her bed and spent a quiet afternoon alone, but I pressed on. The weather continued changing, so did I, coat on, coat off, etc., etc. When I reached the ocean, it was sunny and calm, I walked along the waterfront for quite a while before turning back to home.

I felt so exhilarated, it was truly quite a beautiful day and I feel so fortunate to live close to the ocean. I could see large clouds of rain blowing in farther up the coast, while beams of sun streamed through the dark clouds. I love the sound that the ocean makes as it rolls in and out over the pebbled beach. I was not too cold and not windy. The good and bad thing about going for a long walk away from home is that you have to walk all the way back home.

It was a good walk and I got to admire all the blossoming trees. I was really glad I had fought the urge to just curl up and take it easy. It seems that sometimes we just really need to give our selves that little extra push and it will all be worth it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wandering Yogi

I purchased a great pass called the Wandering Yogi, from Lululemon, it was a fundraiser for Kidsport. The cost was $25 and you were able to attend one class at each of 10 studios around town. Some were for cross training, yoga, dance and even boxing. It ran through the months of January and February, and in true Mary form, I spent February 20 to 28th trying to cram in 8 classes. I did fairly well I think, I only missed two of the 10 studios. It was such a great experience being able to try out classes that perhaps I wouldn't normally have done, like boxing for instance. (I actually really loved the boxing one, it was a circuit class and at the end you got to put on some gloves and go-at-it on the big bag, I was a bit surprised how much I liked that last part).

I learned alot about myself trying all the different classes, like say for instance, at Bellyfit, I am still as uncoordinated as when I tried aerobics in my late teens, but it was fun to try out the different moves. I also found out I am tougher than I give myself credit. I went the whole 75 minutes of "The Drill", another circuit training class with 30 different stations, 2 minutes each and three of them were riding a bike without a seat! I could barely move two days later, but I also learned I had muscles I didn't know I had.

I got to check out five different yoga studios that I had never been to before and get a sampling of teachers. It was really great. I love yin yoga, I think it is a nice balance to the Ashtanga I normally do. I skipped hot yoga as I had tried that before and felt it was more fun to try new things. I did a fantastic Primary Series class with an awesome teacher named Darla at Yoga Shala.

At the end of it all, I came to this conclusion. I don't like to run unless I am being chased. I like to walk, though I don't really wander, as I walk at a pretty good pace. And as much as I really enjoyed the circuit training, yoga, specifically Ashtanga is my exercise of choice. I feel really lucky to have two wonderful instructor/mentors in Jeff and Harmony Lichty. And Ashtanga gives me the peace of mind I need to get through my day. So perhaps, I am not a wandering yogi but a Walking Yogi.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lost in a world of perler beads, felting and free home makeovers.

It has taken me a little while to post again. I am still here, just a little distracted. I have been busy planning my spring, figuring out my pottery for the upcoming season, as well as other creative outlets. Also, busy with the wee ones. Homeschooling, government exams, crafting and just generally running the "book store".

Jack has been really into fuse beads lately, he has been blending this with his love of birds and butterflies and has been making some wonderful creations.

The girls have been really into needle felting and now they have me jumping on the bandwagon, at any moment anywhere in my home you can find a chunk of foam, a needle and a bag full of roving. I am also engrossed in a knitting project I began the other night. It is a lovely bag from a Rooster kit a I purchased a couple of years ago and never got around to making. I am so excited, I can hardly wait till it is done, it is pink and cream coloured.

It is great how when you get started on one creative project, it just gets things going creatively in many areas. I guess it is just the freshness of spring helping out.

As for the home make overs, if you are not too concerned about the results, homeschoolers will often offer free make overs!