Sunday, June 28, 2009

You are here

I've been quietly climbing back on the training wagon. I didn't want to say anything for several reasons, not the least of which is that it's so hard. So hard. My running base has officially been knocked back to zero, the muscle mass has atrophied and my all-important will power has taken a lengthy vacation.

It might be too soon to say it's back, but after one week of a plan and - get this - going above and beyond the minimum, I'm beginning to think I should make my plans public.

It's no secret I plan to do the half in September. I think I've thrown out any time goal and I just want to bloody well finish the thing. Because this time, it's not about proving to myself that I could train and be a new mum, it's about just getting up and moving. This, this has been my struggle for the past three months. Well, that and treating every dinner like an all you can eat buffet.

We've finally (mostly) unpacked. I found Jillian's Shred DVD. It's designed to be a 30 day kick start to fitness, nothing more, but I decided last week, that's what I need. I'm not above a 25 minute quickie workout (a statement I really did have to commit to). But you know and I know 25 minutes a day is not going to get me through 13.1 miles. I said it was a start, OK?

The other half of the start is, sigh, yes, running. If I want to run 13.1 miles and not collapse at mile 12 I have to run several times more than that for several weeks. Running, for at least a while there, lost its sheen. I wasn't enjoying myself. A) I was hurting B) Then I was moving, and C) I got to a strange city with no one to kick my ass and run with me.

This morning, day seven of my 30 day kick start, I was sore and tired, but the weather was fine, the sun was shining and I was one three -point-two-mile run away from actually being able to check mark every single one of my planned workouts this week (plus three extra long evening walks!).

I laced up my runners feeling good but lonely. I miss my running buddies. I miss my buddies. I miss my family. But as I hit play on the iPod, a big smile crept across my face. See, I have a ridiculous mix on my iPod. Mr. Wumpus thinks it's the crappiest mix out there - I've got everything from explicit-laden hip hop, to country, to gypsy music, to wallow-in-self-pity slow stuff. And yet it all gets me moving in some way; maybe faster, maybe slower, maybe with a better cadence. What the husband doesn't get is that every song carries with it a reminder. A reminder of a time, a place, a person.

The Odds clicked on (yes, I even have their version of We Three Kings on year-round, it's lovely), and I thought of Amy, whom I haven't spoken with in a long time and I wonder why this move to Saskatchewan has made keeping in touch with her more challenging. Manu Chao came on and I laughed out loud to think of my Manatee Momma in l'Otterwah and how I miss her. Some gypsy brass, and I think of Jen P. Ditto for 50 Cent. Anything with a good harmony, I sing, and think of mum and my sister. The silence in between songs that kills me as I climb the gigantic hill? The midwife (hills will always make me think of her, I'm sure).

Coasting home off that gigantic hill, I promised myself two things: that week two of this four week kick start was going to be bigger and better than week one, and that I would get to all those phone calls I hadn't had time to make.

My very own mum would have turned 58 today. Hard to think she's been gone so very long and still would not even be 60 yet. Time can be such a complete and total mind-f**k (I couldn't think of a more apt term. Sue me. Le mot juste, is just that - the right word)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Objets d'art

My mug is on the left - who says mugs must match? Our goal is to replace all our mugs with ones like these, none of which match, so that guests will always know which mug is theirs. All the old ladies are cringing at my non-matchyness, I'm sure.

Behold, the latest finding in our tiny town - the most beautiful, handcrafted, one of a kind coffee mugs. Made by our nearly neighbor and sold at her lovely gallery just minutes from our house in what used to be the general store people stepping off the train would visit in days of yore. We picked these up during an art exhibit (we couldn't afford the art...but the cheese was good) last night. Yes, I said art exhibit. I swear there is a new one every week. Have I mentioned I love my town? I love my town.

I realized yesterday, in trundling home with our new finds, that I have such beautiful things for a none thing-lover. We had tea out of my antique tea cups yesterday, while sitting on my stunning cedar porch. I lovingly washed the cups and put them back in their antique pine hutch, nestled among my crystal and china. Beautiful things. Old things, mismatched and imperfect, and wholly beautiful. I am a lucky girl.

Oh, and the most beautiful of all...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Freshman 15

Chou is 15 months old today.

This age is an interesting mix of infant baby sweetness and terrible twos independence. She's started throwing fits when we re-direct her from something she feels she MUST do, but is also becoming much more of a cuddle bug than she's ever been before. She seems to understand affection now, giving us loads of hugs and kisses, squeezes and pats.

She went through a bit of a daddy phase there, preferring him to me for most things. Her play has become more imaginative, more purposeful. She colours - mostly on paper - holding the crayon or pen in her right hand for most of the time but switching it up now and then for the fun of it. Seeing her pudgy little fingers gripping a pen so perfectly, as if she's been doing this all her life, never ceases to make me chuckle. Her dexterity goes beyond pens too - she feeds herself, keeping the spoon upright (as opposed to flipping it over just before it hits her mouth), she puts her shoes on (sometimes on the right feet), she tries to put her shirts on herself...usually getting hung up in the neck hole.

Her language is expanding both verbally and in understanding - she'll touch her toes on command and point out my eyes and nose. Ever the observant one, she points up to the counter where she knows her favorite muffins are even though she can't see them. Her dancing has evolved into a definite booty shake, complete with spins and arm twirls. Hip hop/dance music is still her very favorite. Mr. Wumpus picked up some maracas, a tiny pink tamborine and castanets the other day at the music store in town - I think I enjoy them all more than she does.

Chou Chou is an excellent helper, helping me pull weeds and water her sunflowers. She's also developed an obsession for water bottles (the running kind) and won't drink out of her sippy anymore unless she's absolutely parched. She eats apples like a big girl and will anhilate an entire thing right down to the core just on the ride home from daycare. Pumpkin muffins, hummus and oatmeal cookies are her new favorite foods, though brown rice and cottage cheese ranks up there on the list.

Wee Chou has rekindled her love of the running stroller and downright expects a stroll about town daily. Lucky for us, we always have lots to explore in our new town.

Her sleeping habits are evolving into something I can really live with - she sleeps through the night on a regular basis, without even a pre-dawn nurse - but the best part is she lets us know when it's time for bed time. Today, for nap (late morning only, she's dropping down to one nap), we played in her room for a while, then, she turned on her sound machine, grabbed a book and crawled up in my lap. She crosses her little feet and waits expectantly for her story. Then it's into the crib, she grabs cuskie, rolls over and doesn't make a peep. Hilarious.

So the shoes don't match the dress, sue me.

Doing her best Mike Holmes impression

Me? Throw a tantrum? Never.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Friday, I'm in love

There's no way to get around it - I love farming. I love agriculture. The entire industry wows me at every turn. I'm fascinated, awed, frustrated and inspired all at once.

I met my new home province's farm writer group last night. It's a very different group from the one I left in Manitoba, but lovely nonetheless. It felt oh so good to be out with my colleagues for an evening (Mr. Wumpus stayed home with Chou Chou, his second time putting her down for the night alone. They kicked ass. Makes me happy.)

This three day farm show I've been at has rekindled my love of writing, farm writing, specifically and has got me fired up for the summer.

Now I just need to translate this new momentum to my running and training. Of course, numbnuts here wore heels all day yesterday and blistered the snot out of my one heel. Dammit.

Monday, June 15, 2009

All creatures great and small

We have the world's biggest bumble bee living in a plug socket at the front of the house. I don't mind. He's the only bee I've seen and I want them to live and multiply. As long as he keeps his stinger to himself and doesn't invite his wasp buddies, he can stay.

Last night I actually had to close the window because the yipping of the coyotes was getting out of hand. Oh yes, we are that rural (and I love it).

All of my stick gathering and piling on the fire pit has become a Wal Fart super centre for the robins. Cheeky, lazy buggers.

I have planted tomatoes, basil, rosemary, tarragon, mint and sunflowers. If so much as one deer nibbles on them I will start hunting.

It's Monday of possibly one of the busiest weeks of my year, and that's saying something. Here's to surviving.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The impromptu snaking

In a past life I was MacGyver. Without the mullet, obviously.

The new house is wonderful, but no move is without its hiccups and quirks. Our lovely war time sweet pea sat vacant all winter. For the most part that doesn't matter, except when it comes to kitchen drains. I'm guessing all that time to sit means whatever was living in the pipes petrified, because after washing up the other night, the drain was decidedly slow. By morning, it was officially backed up.

I begrudgingly grabbed some draino - I don't like using the stuff, but vinegar and baking soda is not going to do the trick, sorry Environment. After two bottles of it, it looked like it was time to call a plumber.


I asked myself the eternal question. The one kids wear as bracelets...What Would MacGyver Do?

He'd make his own pipe snake, of course.

Which is when I realized that we don't keep a lot of wire hangers in this house as a rule. We worked really hard to get all nice ones for our front closet (that we no longer have) and the Husband spent money on real fancy ones for his suits.

(I'd like to colour this little story with a note: the Husband was contentedly leafing through a flyer the ENTIRE time I was on my MacGyver mission. I didn't even tell him what I was doing. He didn't notice. Men.)

Finally, I found an old dry cleaning hanger. I untwisted it, donned gloves and down it went, scraping, poking and turning in the very clogged drain.

"I think someone is tinkering," the husband says from the other room.

"You say tinkering, I say fixing," I mumbled.

Poke, poke, poke and SWOOSH! Oh, yeah - who has two thumbs and is basically a plumber? This girl!

Mr. Wumpus sheepishly walks in to the kitchen, "Well done, MacGyver."

At least he knows when he's in the presence of greatness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Somebody needs to light a fire under my ass.

No, really. Really and truly and really, someone please come snap me out of this auto-pilot/achieve very little/totally uninspired/not moving doldrums I'm wallowing around in needlessly.

The sun is shining! The wind is rustling the leaves of my blooming lilacs! My new front load washer is whirring away all economical like and the clean clothes are LINE drying for god's sake!

And me? I'm sitting inside, poking at this box and that, desperately trying to find my verve, my mojo, my raison d'etre. (That sentence has to win an award for something. Longest string of stupid words? Sure. Why not.)

Problem is, nothing seems to be moving, going, gaining momentum. Work has me daydreaming, Chou Chou is starting the terrible twos early, the house is not organizing itself and there's a big part of me that just wants to be doing anything but that which I need to.

What in the hell is wrong with me?

What do you do when you're in a funk?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Behold, my life of cardboard

We are not unpacked yet.

In many ways, I'm glad, because it means we went home to visit when we were needed and I'm so glad we did.

But in other ways, the enormity of unpacking and organizing has me nearly paralyzed.

Can't I just sit in the middle of my living room and stare and be happy? I mean, I watched a coyote trot across the road this morning. This is paradise!

And now, back to the cardboard jungle.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pinch me

On second thought, don't.

I've woken up and realized I live in paradise. The house is better than lovely - full of character, more space than we know what to do with - and the town is even better. Today I went for a massage that rivals that of Demi God's work in Ottawa. My porch is large, inviting and getting a lot of use. I've met the neighbors and their dogs. I can use internets and talk on the phone at the same time. We only had to demo one plank to get the brand spankin' new washer and dryer into the basement. Friend upon friend is promising to visit (and most of them actually will). I can walk into town in five minutes, do all my running around and everyone says hello and welcome.

I never want to leave.

C'mon by whenever you can. The porch is always open.

*Photos to come...just as soon as I unpack the boxes marked "office" and find my camera cord.