Monday, November 29, 2010

Yo chicka! Je t'aime.

I am so happy to have kept this friend close, even though we have lived some 3500 kilometres apart for a good chunk of our post high school years. She has been the most caring, supportive and inspirational friend I could ever ask for. During our dance years at DLS we had some wild times creating numbers and performing various choreographies... I still hear "Scoooop!" when I think of our "alien dance" - an inside joke that may be so far gone she wouldn't remember it. It's rare that you ever see her without her gorgeous and yes, luscious smile. She has the wildest imagination, that's got us into and out of trouble many, many times.

Always the open minded person, she tried AND ATE a fish dish I served her a few weeks ago - I've been told she would never touch the stuff. I have the picture to prove it:

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'd do this again, anytime!

The most fulfilling adventure Stargazing embarked on was in the winter of 2002 when she took the train from Toronto to Vancouver, solo. The circumstances were so that this trip was a compromise to keep her from taking an even bigger adventure with her dad to Croatia and to sate her need for excitement before moving back to Victoria and settling back into her same old routine.

To start off Stargazing, mom and dad drove to Toronto and stayed overnight at one of their most stylish and wonderfully welcoming friends' townhouse. It was walking distance to a great Greek restaurant where they dinned, drank wine, exchanged stories, laughed and stumbled back home.

Stargazing booked an upper berth on the train which included breakfast, dinner and a turndown service every night.  The first thing she realized when she got to her seat was there was no place to stash her guitar during the trip. She didn't want to have to lug it everywhere with her and was especially worried because she only had a soft case for it. The car attendant was a very sweet older gentleman and he took a liking to Stargazing. He waited until their car was empty, slyly stashed the case in the pillow compartment across from her berth and told her it would be their little secret. She had also mentioned that she would be very grateful for an extra pillow when he made up her bed and was surprised with 6 on her return from dinner her first night. That gesture was the icing on the cake and made her so happy. She read her books, listened to her portable CD player and was especially cozy in her little nest. She was rocked to sleep by the rhythmical swaying of the train... She was in heaven.

By day the berths are stowed away for regular seating. Stargazing spent most of her time reading and listening to her CD player in her seat but also explored the various cars and caboose. The caboose had a great view from above where you can see the train ahead and take great photos - there was a picture of this somewhere but it has been misplaced.  Breakfast and dinner were served in two seatings, early and late. Although she brought a book, it felt rude reading when you're seated with other people - limited seating, no one gets their own table.  Stargazing made friends with a few older couples who were interested in why such a young lady was travelling alone, what she would do once she arrived in Victoria, who was special in her life and so on. Stargazing got to hear some wonderful stories about all sorts of interesting adventures, grandchildren, pets, experiences and so on. She was truly content in their little moving world on the train. 

Your body gets so used to the swaying of the train that coming to a stop takes a little getting used to. Do they call it rail-legs, like sea-legs?

From the train station in Vancouver she boarded a Greyhound to Victoria via the ferry. Another 3 hour marvellous trip, quite beautiful.  If you're lucky you can spot dolphins jumping in the wake of the boat. Stargazing chose a bench on the top deck and enjoyed the sun and fresh air, reading but mostly people watching. 

Canada is a beautiful country and seeing it woosh by on the train is a wonderful experience. The different terrains, landscapes and weather from province to province, whistle stop to large train station, made for an unforgettable adventure.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wait for it.... no, it's not true!

I'm a sucker for a good musical. I am partial to Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe but one of my all time favourites is The Sound of Music. I've been watching it in stages due to my limited amount of "me" time that I have but also because I'm savouring it in a way. Oddly, I didn't recall it being so political even though it is based during war time. When I was younger I guess the story line didn't matter so much as learning all the songs and dances that were featured. I also have found tears running down my face during the Austrian folk dance and when they sang "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" with sad faces but then realized Maria was singing along with them and ran to meet her in the yard... oh, Emily.

Sweet Sue has leant me The Rogers and Hammerstein Collection box set. During the next few weeks I will be watching Carousel, The King and I (oh, yeah!), State Fair, South Pacific and Oklahoma!  I'm such a sap, listening to Raffi tonight I had to keep myself from bursting into tears from the lovely memories I have of his music from when I was a kid... you'd think I was pregnant or something. Oh no, writing that won't make it come true will it?! Eeek.

Tee hee! Just kidding.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby steps in the right direction

Well, it's been a great last week. Sending Robyn to daycare twice a week has given me the kick in the butt I needed to get onto a more structured routine.  We get up about 6am, I nurse Robyn and we get dressed. On Mondays and Wednesdays Robyn is at daycare from 7:30am to 4:00pm where she gets breakfast, goes for a walk rain or shine, has lunch, takes a nap and finds time to play and enjoy herself with the other kiddos in between. This week I've tried to mimmic her routine as best I could. Putting her down for a nap has been tough but I'm following Tara's example as best I can. I need to put together a good playlist to listen to during the put down period.

Robyn is actually eating more since starting daycare, she especially loves orange slices, pickles, mango and banana. Unfortunately, I was finding the highchair we had, a Graco brand deluxe style, to be too big for her even though it says it's for newborn and up. She generally seemed unhappy, uncomfortable and she always ended up in a  slouched position. Tara has the simple white plastic Ikea style chair, Robyn seems much happier in it so I've now switched and am bringing the Graco one to Boomerang, a kids consignment store.

Robyn is getting very close to walking on her own. She's pulling herself up using anything over 6" high as leverage and walks around with he aid of coffee tables, walls, cupboards, etc. She's pretty adventurous and has attempted gaps between coffee tables and couches. Here's a little demo: